Why I Vote GIF
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Autoplay OFF  •  2 years ago
Adam Leibsohn is COO of Giphy (https://giphy.com). He is a product, marketing and communications strategy specialist with degrees in French, English and Philosophy. His strategies and work have been featured in Fast Company, Wired Magazine, The Harvard Business Review, CNBC and the New York Times, and he has been listed as one of Details Magazine’s “Digital Mavericks.”

Find me on twitter: https://twitter.com/adamc...

Why I Vote GIF

by Adam Leibsohn, COO of Giphy

To communicate with humans, keyboards are not so good

Humans have all of these incredible emotions, and it can be tough trying to squeeze all of the feelings through a Qwerty.

Mobile phones are another funny puzzle.

We can do crazy things like send messages around the world instantly just by tapping a few buttons. However, texting isn’t great for human communication.

It used to be that a call was a precious thing

The phone was a fixed object, so you were usually stuck in one place for the whole call, and focused on the conversation.

Then we went ahead and made these phones mobile

They go with us everywhere. When that happened, we killed the ritual of the call.

Now we’re communicating anytime, anywhere

The goal has shifted from taking one’s time and diving deep to being able to see and say what you need as fast as possible.

“I love you so much” spoken sweetly on the phone turned into

“Love you” on text, which got faster with “luv u” via txt, and became even simpler at “143.” And that found its way to “<3” which finally brings us to the emoji.

We are at a communication crossroads

However, the solution isn’t to throw our phones out the window. We need something new and fresh to fix this communication breakdown.

It turns out there’s a very simple and elegant solution:


They pack more punch than just the narrow cross-section of a moment like a picture; and, they’re not as time-consuming as a video. GIFs are the perfect mix of effectiveness and efficiency

The future just got way more expressive.

We’ve always spoken in culture (we just might not have realized it). We quote lines from movies. We copy trademark gestures. We reenact scenes.

Let’s take scotch, for instance.

Normally, I’d text my buddies a few messages about going out, having a drink, meeting up somewhere, etc. … And I’d usually get a mixed response: Busy. Lazy. I don’t like you. Who is this?

But when I send everyone this:

One hundred percent attendance.

The point is: With GIFs, we can communicate through culture. Not only that, we can use that culture to communicate really well on our phones.

Technologically, we’ve never been more ready for the GIF.

GIFs couldn’t exist on feature phones. GIFs couldn’t exist in the Web 1.0 world of Outlook and 14.4BD modems where a JPG would take minutes to load.

Up until now, we didn’t have much of a choice

But, the future of communication has yet to be written. And nothing demands that we write it with a keyboard.

There isn't a better time for the GIF

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