Pinterest is letting a select group of users pin animated GIFs and will open the option to the public if the initial tests are successful. This means 70 million users could post little clips of cats, people falling, and sports fails right next to their wedding and baby boards.
That’s cool, I guess.
While this seems to be news around other industry blogs (and is arguably news here because we’re covering it) it’s kind of Pinterest’s equivalent to Facebook hashtags.
By the time Facebook adopted hashtags, almost all other social networks were using them. They were so commonplace that LinkedIn added them and was considering removing them before Facebook even jumped on the bandwagon.
Similarly, Gifs have worked their way over most of the Internet. They’ve left the social media realm and are found on blogs, Gravatars, and office email threads. Even Facebook and Google+ are Gif-friendly! In this instance, Pinterest is truly a laggard in adopting this animated, epilepsy-inducing trend.
Also like Facebook hashtags, Pinterest’s adoption of Gifs isn’t going to rapidly draw new audiences or revolutionize the site. It might court the average Facebook user, but Redditors and Tumblr-addicts aren’t going to start pinning memes and gifs. Pinterest simply doesn’t have the discussion-friendly platform that Reddit has.
If anything, this move means that Facebook users will see their friends sharing links to Pinterest of Gifs they saw on Reddit and Tumblr three months ago.
Who can benefit from this?
We try to focus on solutions at CopyPress, so instead of poo-pooing Pinterest for finally catching up to 2014, let’s see who can really win with animated Gifs.
Foodies have found a home in Pinterest to share their recipes and drive traffic to their blogs. Many food bloggers have made names for themselves because of Pinterest’s referral traffic. However, the market is becoming saturated with bloggers trying to promote their content along with curation accounts repining anything and everything containing the words paleo and quinoa.
For example, I tried to make eggs baked in avocado for dinner last night and quickly became overwhelmed by the options laid out before me. There were hundreds of recipes to choose from, each with minor tweaks to the cooking time and temperature.
Creating animated Gifs of slicing the food, stirring it in a pot, or pulling the finished product out of the oven can make one recipe stand out above the rest. The eye catches the motion while the brain tells the hand to click.
The fashion industry already has Pinterest on lockdown, as the predominately female demographic will re-pin almost any wedding dress, couture gown, or pair of boots ever created. Fashion brands and stores can step up their marketing efforts by showing how the gown twirls or posting a Gif of the model walking down the runway.
If marketers can treat Pinterest like the traffic-referral hub that it is then they’ll know to use these Gifs to draw users to their websites and blogs to buy their products.
Entrepreneur reported that the Gifs will now have small ‘play’ buttons for users stop and start the picture. Previously, Gifs just uploaded as still photos.
Vine stars and other viral celebrities now have another social network to share their content on. They can build their social following by sharing their six seconds of glory on Pinterest – in Gif form.
Who will this hurt?
Lazy Social Media Managers
We’ve talked quite a bit about the importance of diversifying your company’s social media presence. Your loyal fans (the ones who engage and buy from you the most) will quickly catch on if you’re posting the exact some content on all of your channels. Content managers who now plan to post the same Gif on Pinterest that they already shared on Tumblr and Google+ will only tire their audiences. Use Pinterest Gifs to create new, unique content instead of rehashing what you already have on other sites.
At the end of the day, the addition of Gifs to Pinterest is just the social network throwing a bone to its core users. The Pinners that already have thousands of pins on hundreds of boards will appreciate the movement, and it’s up to marketers to sink or swim with their content.