You Can Now Put Animated GIFs on Pinterest

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Pinterest announced this week it will start letting users post animated GIFs to the site.

The animated, looping GIF can actually be used to help better illustrate a point, capture a moment, or to make a simple how-to image. Some might even help add a little levity to your branding by informally showing your personal side or interests. In a way, animated GIFs seem similar to the short videos that Vine and Instagram support. They are usually made from an animated series of photos or sometimes from a video clip.

Posting recently on the Pinterest blog, software engineer Ludo Antonov wrote:

“The well-timed GIF may be the greatest thing to have happened to the internet since emoticons, and lots of people have said they’d love to see playable GIFs on Pinterest. Starting today, we support GIFs in all their animated glory!”

Animated GIFs are a staple of other social networking sites, like Tumblr. But unlike on Tumblr, which shows GIFs animated in your news feed, on Pinterest, GIFs appear static at first. Images on Pinterest are viewed as thumbnails on your homepage or in a “Pinboard,” a collection of photos collected by you or by someone else you are following. One way to activate animated GIFs is to hit the “play” button in the lower left hand corner of the thumbnail. Another way is to enlarge the image after which the GIF will play automatically.

In addition to Tumblr, Google Plus is another social media site supporting animated GIFs. People can sometimes use GIFs on other social media sites like Twitter. For example, GIF search engine Giphy allows users to tweet GIFs on its site simply by adding the link to the desired file.
Image: Pinterest

13 Comments ▼

Joshua Sophy - Staff Writer


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering technology and business news. He is a journalist and editor with 15 years experience in media. A former newspaper reporter and editor, Joshua also serves as President of the Board of Directors of a curling club and is editor of a regional newsletter focused on the sport of curling in the Eastern U.S.

13 Reactions

  1. Shawn Hessinger

    Hi Josh,
    Interesting story. Honestly, I’m wondering how many people use animated GIF files in their social media. It would be interesting to gauge the pulse here on the Small Business Trends community just a bit. How many will be using animated GIFs on Pinterest now that they are being supported?

    • Martin Lindeskog

      I get flashbacks from the old times, having animated gifs on your web site… ;) I had a rotating dollar sign on one of my sites! :) I wonder if you could find the site archived somewhere? I think it was “Geocities”…

      Have you heard that Pinterest will do a special section for recipes? That I think is a real smart move. How about a gif animated culinary show? ;)

      • Joshua Sophy

        My favorite was the Under Construction GIFs with the flashing red lights.

        Geocities … those were the days.

        You may want to check the Wayback Machine to see if you can find your old site. I’ve always had limited luck there.

    • I generally don’t use animated gifs. I sometimes use animated emoticons when I’m FB messaging but I don’t think it’s the same thing, I suppose. I have a Pinterest account, hardly use it, but I’d be open to taking a look at the animated gifs – out of curiosity, really. I doubt I’ll use them. But then again, who knows – stranger things have happened in my 39 years as a unicorn :)

  2. I guess it is about time. Instagram has already introduced some video clips. It is about time that we another social network that deals with animated images other than Tumblr.

  3. Some GIF files have transparent background to follow the colour or pattern of the background on which the GIF file is placed on. That is the beauty of using GIF.

  4. Well, I’m not sure I’d enjoy going on Pinterest and seeing hundreds of .gif’s loading for me at the same time. I’d go nuts!

    Thank you for the news write-up!

  5. Joshua Sophy

    I don’t know if I use them in my social media outlets as much as I do in conversations with friends. I can’t believe how long it took GIFs to become so popular, really. They’re a lot easier to make nowadays. That’s for sure.

    The problem with GIFs and any moving images, especially on social media sites, is the risk of overload and their site becoming unviewable. I think Pinterest is doing it right by using a thumbnail until you open an individual Pin.

    • Yes – I think they’ve balanced it well by utilising thumbnails. I don’t exactly want to see a deluge of animated gifs on a page, neither would I want my load time affected either.

      I’m yet to be sold on the whole animated gif thing on Pinterest, but…we’ll see.

  6. Joshua,

    FINALLY! I applaud Pinterest for the decision which Facebook can’t even make :)

    I love Google+ for the ability to post animated GIFs. With Pinterest follow suit, I can see more Repins and likes for animated images.

  7. This is GREAT news! I use animated GIFs in my blog posts to add some humor to my writings. I am always looking for a place to save them and can now use Pinterest. I really hope Facebook sees this and jumps on board :)

  8. Finally! A much needed feature added to one of my favorite social media platform.

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