The digital space gives us an opportunity to explore and experiment without any limitations – literally anything we dream of can manifest right in front of us with just a few clicks. GIFs and cinemagraphs are one way we’re pushing these limits, altering the way we communicate with one another in cyberspace.
About Those GIFs
GIFs really started infiltrating pop culture when netizens began slicing up iconic moments from TV shows and films, and sharing it with their friends. It quickly gained popularity as people can relate to that singular moment, and sharing it with their friends is like sharing an inside joke, over and over again. Just like emoticons, it has slowly evolved into a way to express yourself on the internet.
Tumblr was one of the first platforms to truly embrace GIFs, and have since been the ruler of GIF sharing. When you land on the explore page, you’ll see “GIF” show up as one of the top tags. Google launched a separate GIF filter in their search engine for you to search specific animated images related to their search tags. Facebook finally introduced GIFs into their posts in May this year, allowing users to leave GIFs in comments or a post without ever actually leaving Facebook. They also allow these GIFs to autoplay as you scroll past, just like a video post would.
Apps like PHHHOTO creates instant GIFs for you to share on all your social channels, and others like PopKey can be downloaded to function as a keyboard on your iPhones to seamlessly add GIFs when you text your friends.
The Dawn of Cinemagraphs
If you haven’t heard by now, cinemagraphs are all the rage. Its file format is still .gif, but it is conceptually different from actual GIFs.
The term “cinemagraph” was coined by photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck in 2011. They were the first photographers to really put cinemagraphs on the map through their stunningly beautiful fashion photography in conjunction with model, Coco Rocha.
Cinemagraph is the rendering of an image and a video together, where only part of the image is animated, and the rest remains static. It loops seamlessly, and its purpose is to create a surreal image, as though the image was a frozen moment in time.
GIFs vs. Cinemagraphs
First, here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two:
So when should we use GIFs and when should we use cinemagraphs? And what’s the difference between them?
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, here are a few tips to help you out!
So start immersing yourselves in GIF-dom, because I reckon it’s here to stay for a while.
Share your favorite GIFs and cinemagraphs in the comments below!