Pssst! Rumor has it, Twitter is introducing a new GIF button on its mobile app. The company wants its users to share more GIFs and the microblogging platform is testing a dedicated GIF button on mobile.
As you may very well know, Twitter is one of the most popular social networking services online. According to the most recent research, the company has more than 320 monthly users.
Did you know that Twitter is more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol? Or that a day’s worth of Twitter posts would fill a 10-million-page book? Or that Twitter’s bird has a name and it’s actually called Larry? These are just a few curious facts.
The actual news is that Twitter has begun testing a new feature for fans of reaction GIFs. Some users have spotted a dedicated GIF button in their Android apps, positioned right in the middle of the camera and poll icons.
Bank of the Ozarks Director of Marketing, Phil Pearlman, was able to test it out for TechCrunch and discovered that the new button is a portal to a selection of trending GIFs, including some categorized by mood and others that were trending.
As you can see in the tweet below, the dedicated GIF feature can be found in the ‘compose tweet’ screen, sitting in between the camera and poll icons.
— Phil Pearlman (@ppearlman) February 4, 2016
A lot of people, including Pearlman, only had access to the button for a short while, though – it disappeared from their apps as quickly as it came.
Twitter hasn’t issued any official statement on the tests, but responded to a request for comment from TechCrunch‘s Jon Russell with the following GIF:
GIFs are gaining quite a lot of popularity in social media. In June 2014, Twitter announced that users can share and view animated GIFs online as well as on mobile. Some other social networking services such as Tumblr and Pinterest also support GIFs. GIFs have more of a fun and entertainment value.
However, GIFs also potentially holds commercial value for companies to promote their brands and products. For example, instant messenger app Kik, which has more than 275 million registered users across the world, has announced the launch of branded GIFs on its platform. Branded GIFs will allow companies to promote their brands on the chat app for a charge.
Of course, it remains to be seen if Twitter is adding the dedicated GIF button only for fun or also to increase revenue.