Twitter plans to add a new button to its mobile app that will allow users to post GIFs. Presently, the feature is in the testing phase as several users had reported that when they tried composing a tweet on a mobile device, they noticed the button between the options for posting photos and polls.
Twitter testing a GIF button
One Twitter user told TechCrunch that on clicking the button, he was presented with a collection of ready-made GIFs, including some categorized by moods and others that were trending. Other companies such as Facebook and Yahoo have done similar things with their own messaging apps and have partnered with third parties like Giphy and Tumblr to integrate catalogs of GIFs.
A quick search for “GIF button” shows that Twitter has given access to the experimental feature to plenty of users. The reactions so far are positive as is evident from the postings by GIF users. By allowing more GIFs, the micro-blogging firm is adding a way to spruce up the platform with extra content and allowing new branding opportunities to companies with sponsored GIFs.
As of now, there have been no official statements on the tests from Twitter, but when TechCrunch’s Jon Russell requested a comment, the company responded with a GIF which meant “may be or may be not.”
Facebook intruding on Twitter’s turf
Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat and others are in an intense battle for social media supremacy, and the war looks increasingly like a winner-take-all proposition, says Andrew Tonner of The Motley Fool. Facebook’s latest move indicates that it wants to erode Twitter’s traditional strength in real-time sharing. But Facebook too is facing a challenge from the urging video usage of Snapchat.
“However, never one to be outdone, Facebook is preparing to roll out a new product that seems likely to put further pressure on rivals Twitter and Snapchat,” said Tonner.
In a blog post last week, Facebook announced that all iPhone users in the U.S. have been given access to its Live video streaming product. In the coming weeks, it plans to launch Live globally. The company also made a promise that all Android users will also be able to use the product as well. In early December, the social networking giant began with the beta testing of Live among a small subset of its U.S. iPhone users.