14 September 2014

To GIF or not to GIF

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We've all seen GIF files floating about on the internet, some are a bit silly, but others like the +American Apparel Sheer Nail Lacquer Campaign is a perfect example of combining social media and gif files.  I’m a huge fan and used well they can be pretty cool.  
I recently created a series of Gif files for an upcoming Zilchoo.com/otaki campaign called the A-Z of Otaki - it's an A-Z of free things to see and do in Otaki using a Gif file for each description.  I will embed each GIF file into a blog and then over a span of 24 days by posting each individual image onto three social media platforms, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Supporting Animated GIF files

Facebook don’t support GIF files, although it was rumoured they did, it was soon determined that the files were actually converted Flash files. Twitter support GIFs and can now be shared and viewed on Twitter's iPhone, Android and web versions. They appear in your timeline with a play button. Google+ allows you to embed animated GIFs in the stream and also use one for your profile picture.

Creating an Animated GIF File #Easy

Creating the GIF files is extremely easy, the first step was to design the files, which I did using MicroSoft Publisher, with a minimum of 5 files for each letter. As you can see below I used 7 files for "A" and each image is slightly different.

Animated GIF Files


Next, after a bit of research online, I decided to use a free online tool, Gifmaker.me, which allowed me to create gif images for free, and best of all there is no registration required. There is a simple control panel in GIFmaker.me, which enabled me to adjust the size and speed of each image.


Scheduling Social Media Posts

I use Hootsuite to schedule all my posts because Twitter and Google+ have incorporated Gif files I was able to use each individual Gif file, Facebook doesn't support Gif files, so each post will be a static image.


I then created the blog entry by using an HTML table 7 x 4 I uploaded each Gif file and then added in a hyperlink for each letter so my visitors can click through to a corresponding webpage.

I’m thrilled with the results, here’s the blog if you’d like to check it out. 

A-Z of Otaki 

Here is our quick A-Z Guide...from walking tracks, shopping, green parks and reserves, historic sites and street art, you'll find a letter that suits you to a T, or perhaps B, or N, or P. Read More... 

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