Did you know you can now pin animated GIFs to your Pinterest boards?
Yep, it’s a new Pinterest feature and it works! Well, sort of.
The feature was announced recently but when a colleague asked me if it had been rolled out to everyone, I wasn’t sure. To test it I created a simple logo animation in Photoshop and then uploaded the pin to a new board. All you have to do is click on the pin and the animation will play.
I realized afterward that my pin animation doesn’t work as expected on the Android or the iPad. If you click on such a pin, instead of starting the animation you will be directed to the specified website. However, if you click the pin using a desktop PC, the animation will work.
Also, the uploaded pin shows the first frame of the animation. So if it’s not visible or memorable, you won’t get the click-throughs. My first frame was a blank frame, which meant it looked like an empty pin. How unappealing.
So before you launch into a marketing campaign using animated GIFs, there are a few things you need to know about GIFs on Pinterest. Just be aware of how the animation works (or doesn’t) on certain platforms at this point in time. I suspect that Pinterest will address these issues over time, but for now just keep the limitations in mind.
What is a GIF?
So, maybe you’re wondering what exactly is an animated GIF?
GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format and was developed by CompuServe in the late 1980s. Basically, an animated GIF is a file that contains multiple images which are used to produce a simple animation. (Learn more about GIFs.)
How to Create Animated GIFs
Creating an animated GIF can be a time-consuming process. But if you’re willing to invest the time, below are some options to help you get started. I use Photoshop, but there are free or almost-free alternatives from which to choose.
Free or Inexpensive Apps
For those of you who are looking for other apps to create animated GIFs, check out Digital Trend’s list of recommendations. Some are free, others range in price from $4 – $20. Digital Trend also has a tutorial that gives Photoshop instructions for creating an animated GIF from a video sequence.
Once you have created your animated GIF, upload your graphic to a Pinterest board.
Learn How to Build a Simple Animated Logo in Photoshop
Finally, I put together a short YouTube video with a step-by-step explanation on how to create an animated logo using Photoshop CS5. You can watch it here:
So now that you know about this new Pinterest feature, will you be using animation in your Pinterest marketing?