Say What GIF?

January 2, 2024
David Sunnyside

GIFs have become a ubiquitous part of our communication, thanks to social media, messaging apps and meme culture. They convey more information and emotion than a still image or emoji and are easily shareable. Whether you’re sharing a funny clip or an informative one, there is always an audience out there willing to receive it.

The inventor of the GIF, Steve Wilhite, has died and a great debate has risen over how to pronounce his creation: /gif/ (with a hard g as in gift) or /dZif/ (with a soft g as in gem). It’s probably a matter of personal preference, as both pronunciations are commonly used.

GIFs are ideal for grabbing the short attention spans of today’s consumers. Their looping format keeps their message constant and provides a quick, bite-sized snack for your audience’s news feeds.

They can also add visual interest to statistics and data that would otherwise be boring, such as a line graph showing the growth of your sales or a pie chart depicting customer demographics. This makes your data more relatable and interesting to your audience and can help build excitement for future products or upcoming announcements.

However, it’s important to note that the use of GIFs can be a double-edged sword. If used too frequently, they can be distracting, annoying or overwhelming to your audience, and may slow page load times. Additionally, they can present accessibility challenges for people using screen readers and other assistive technologies.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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