Let’s be honest, following the announcement of Kim Kardashian’s new emojis, everyone fell into two categories – either the people that could not care less, or the people that needed to get their hands on that crying emoji. Since their invention in 1995, emojis have become a staple of texting, and with Kim K on board, we know that emojis have hit peak usage. However, emojis can leave a lot to interpretation. Without the proper context, they can be difficult to understand in messages.
To add insult to injury, it turns out that most of us are actually using emojis wrong. So the question is, do we just stick to emojis because of their simplicity, or because they are the only option? Maybe it is time that we turn to an older, wiser, more adaptable tool, that will leave little to no room for misunderstanding? Why yes, I am talking about GIFs.
The GIF format was initially created in 1987 and used on loading screens, helping to show to a user that their computer was working. But GIFs dropped out of fashion and were confined to use in internet chat forums as the rise of broadband meant standard videos became easier to load. But thanks to a mixture of Tumblr and millennials, GIFs have transformed communication.
GIFs are dominating the online world because they provide the perfect format to get your point across, while being creative. Using GIFS isn’t about taking the lazy way out, but making communication as fun and interesting as possible. Emojis, by design, cannot fulfill a whole story. However GIFs have the capability to be stand alone messages. GIFs add in layered humor and cultural references that develop and provide another layer of depth to conversations.
And yet, what is holding back the domination of GIFs on our smartphones? Simply put, standard text messaging is still not conducive to GIF’s format. However, thanks to Shizup, an app available on iOS and Android, GIFs can be sent in text messages. Shizup provides a platform for entire conversations using memes, where users can create and send animated GIFs to any contact on their phone. Shizup makes the process of creating GIFs and memes effortless. Users simply upload their own video to the app, add text, and choose which contacts to send it to.
While it may seem that emojis, just like Kim K, have some staying power at the moment; GIFs aren’t that close behind. Especially thanks to apps like Shizup, GIFs have the possibility to become the best way for easy communication with friends, leaving nothing up to interpretation.
Cheers to a Happy and GIF-ful 2016!