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Some will probably argue me on the fact that GIFs were around before 2012, but I think we can all agree that this year they exploded into an internet craze. Every accidental spill, sports game slam dunk, and crazy cheering superfan usually ends up in GIF form somewhere on the internet within 5 minutes of it happening in real time. Sites like #soyeahduh use GIFs to give thoughts on Chicago whereabouts, GIF-U helps visitors find a good GIF response to an email, and What Should We Call Me is just great for an afternoon laugh break.
Not only are GIFs fun to watch, they are also used by marketers and community managers. I talked to Kenny Norton, Digital Marketing Manager at The Score, for his thoughts on what makes them so popular. “Sports fans want to relive the best, most viral moments from the night before in the quickest way possible. GIFs facilitate that by giving that over and over again. There's also a certain virality and share-ability to GIFs unlike videos or images and sports fans crave this,” said Norton. “We use GIFs to drive traffic - as GIFs can drive a ton of it and also to help create an authority within sports media.” Jenn McTigue, Community Manager at Blueye Creative, also uses them and even made a few with her team.
Sami Ari believes it to be a generational thing. "Maybe because they feed our ADD Millennial brains: short time span, right amount of repetitive, and they utilize our pop culture obsessive nature," said Ari. Or, as Jackie Lampugnano puts it, "Nothing sums up how someone is feeling like a solid GIF.”
Without further adieu, I give to you some of my favorite GIFs of 2012:
These pumped Lakers fans:
JoNo's celebratory move:
Great Olympic moments live on in GIF form:
And of course the most viral video of the year, in GIF form:
And special shout out to Jason Arican for always bringing the GIF game and sending me this one in a clutch situation:
Here's to hoping GIFs keep going strong in 2013!