Ah the GIF, that quirky creation of the Internet that fuels an endless cycle of animated cats, people doing stupid things, and iconic moments in entertainment history.
Pinterest announced today that GIFs will now play on Pinterest boards on the Web. The company said that people have requested this capability for a long time and that there are already tens of millions of GIF pins. It estimates that a million people a day see at least one GIF on Pinterest.
Now, along with your photo pins, you’ll be able to find crazy bearded men gesturing dramatically, fitness gurus using a foam roller, the inevitable clips from Star Wars and Seinfeld, and of course, Beyonce.
The GIF rocketed to fame and fortune thanks to microblogging platform Tumblr (now owned by Yahoo), with some significant help from Reddit. They are everywhere now because it seems far easier to be funny, ironic, and irreverent in three seconds than with a still photo.
Not wanting to limit pins to images alone, Pinterest is now opening the floodgates so your boards can twerk, dive, fall, and gyrate like the rest of the Web.
Pinterest has grown into a mainstay of social media. It now has more than 70 million users and attracts 2.5 billion page views a month. The company raised a whopping $225 million in October 2013 and has since made a big push for monetization, as well as rolled out a number of new features and tools.
I may be in the minority here (and unleash some Internet vitriol) by finding GIFs stupid and headache-inducing. But to each pinner their own I guess.
Support for GIFs on mobile is coming soon.