Um, this is… new, I guess.
Today, Twitter has announced that it’s added a new option to more easily create GIFs in-app for users on iOS.
Ok GIFs aren’t new but what *is new* is the option to capture your own using the in-app camera on iOS. pic.twitter.com/3Hl6q78e6s— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) March 22, 2022
As you can see in this example, now, when you go to the Twitter Camera in the tweet composer, you’ll see a new ‘GIF’ creation option, in addition to ‘Video’, ‘Capture’ and ‘Live’. Within this, you can easily create a GIF of anything you like – just tap and hold on the record button, film your GIF, then post. Easy as pie.
Which is good, it’s a helpful, simple GIF option. But you could actually do this already, albeit in a slightly different form.
Back in 2019, Twitter added the capacity to transform your Live photos on iOS into GIFs within the composition process.
Give the gift of GIFs. You can now upload your iOS Live Photos as GIFs anywhere you upload photos on Twitter. pic.twitter.com/D8TIfsBwyd— Twitter (@Twitter) December 11, 2019
The new GIF process is pretty much the same, it just takes out one step, in that you don’t have to tap on the GIF button on the Live image.
I mean, that does make it easier, and it could well get more people posting their own, unique GIFs, now that they have a dedicated function for such in the Twitter Camera. But it’s not new, while there are also various other GIF creation options available online, so functionally, it’s not a revelation, as such.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be, and simplification is often just as good as innovation in many aspects of social media apps. And with Twitter looking to add 100 million new users over the next two years, simplification is definitely important, in order to maximize engagement - but how valuable, or useful, this new option will be, I’m not really sold on at this stage.
Really, the best GIFs are those from TV shows and movies, and while you can create your own, most of them won’t be as interesting or engaging as these more well-known reaction memes and trends.
Which is why it’s worth noting that you could do this already. Because nobody really does. We’ve been able to GIF ourselves, direct within the Tweet composer for two and a half years, and it hasn’t been a hit functionality, so hard to see it catching on in any significant way now.
In any event, it’s all part of Twitter’s expanded visual focus, which could see it roll out a range of new tools in the coming months in an effort to boost tweet engagement.
Which could be good, or interesting at least. But easier GIF creation? Meh.