Did GIFs Save Skype?
Will GIFs be the winning weapon in the messaging platform arms race?
Skype’s integration with Gfycat [www.gfycat.com] (the largest user generated GIF platform in the world), and its focus on short content such as Highlights, shows that short-form content is one of the most powerful weapons in the battle for dominance among messaging platforms.
According to Gfycat, platforms are adopting 3 increasingly similar features to stay relevant:
- RELIANCE ON THIRD PARTY APPS
Skype implemented fun integrations with third parties like Gfycat. They knew they didn’t have to reinvent the wheel—they just had to integrate with already-popular apps. The future? Apps that rely less on proprietary content and more on third-party integration.
- EMPHASIS ON SHORT-FORM CONTENT
All of Skype’s refreshes were designed to parallel our emerging obsession with short form content—from the ability to send GIFs in text conversations to capturing and sharing short videos. To stay relevant, social networks must make content as quick and punchy as possible.
- EMPHASIS ON EMOTIVE COMMUNICATION
Many of Skype’s new features revolve around the ability to convey emotions—for instance, reacting with an emoji during a video call. GIFs are another form of emotive communication that Skype and other messaging platforms have adopted in order to make their platforms stickier.