(Note: This post originally appeared on the Voce Nation Blog)
What Is It? Facebook has announced that it’s expanding support for GIFs. Previously available only by using links to Giphy-hosted images, now you can link to any page with a GIF and have it displayed on your Facebook profile. But there are two important caveats: 1) This does not mean you can upload GIFs and have then play, you have to link to them and 2) This feature has not been added to Pages yet, just personal profiles.
What Does It Mean? Big picture it means that Facebook finally realized this is an ongoing trend they’re increasingly being left out of, and that if they want to keep competing with Tumblr and other networks they better figure out how to make GIFs work, despite reported reservations that Facebook thinks they will make the Newsfeed messy. For brand publishers it doesn’t mean a lot right now other than that they should plan for this to be rolled out at some point, likely within the next year. But if you haven’t already gotten on the GIF bandwagon – there are plenty of platforms that support them today – then you may already be three steps behind.