A recent survey by Harris Poll reveals that people believe that emojis and animated GIFs are useful in adding clarity to texts and mobile messages. What’s more, people feel they can express themselves better by using these digital gizmos than by using language alone.
Communicating at a distance allows us to instantaneously connect with family and friends throughout the world, and generally makes us feel closer. At the same time, the absence of common face and voice characteristics that are particularly important to communication such as eye contact, facial expression, and voice elements such as pitch and tone, have to be overcome with digital creativity.
This is where emoji and GIFs come in really handy – Animated GIFs act to fill this void in regular text-based digital communication. GIFs offer gestures and non-verbal forms of expression that would otherwise be missing or very difficult to convey in written communication such as in online chats.
Nearly two-thirds of millennials say that GIFs do the job better than words, compared to about 40 percent of middle-aged adults. Another interesting number: When asked whether such graphics helped people better understand thoughts and feelings than words alone – nearly 80% fully agreed.
Communication is not just about expressing one’s feelings and emotions and more than half of those surveyed said they use emojis and GIFs in messages to simply make people laugh, to lighten the mood and because they make conversations more fun.
Marketers already use emojis on social media and in business communications to create a more relaxed environment with followers, though using existing animated GIFs might be more complicated due to copyright restrictions. Individuals can usually make and share GIFs with little concern for repercussions, but companies must be more careful. The issue of using animated GIFs for commercial purposes lies in using someone else’s original content which is likely to be copyright protected. Currently, there is no standing legal decision that specifically determines whether GIFs made from copyrighted material qualify as infringement, so the area is somewhat vague.
As a general guideline, you should get permission from the copyright holder and credit the original GIF creator when possible. The best idea, however, is to produce your own original GIFs that fully fit with your brand and messaging. Our designers can create incredible, custom animated GIFs that will certainly raise the level of your online brand communications. Just give us a call or send us a message.