Giphy gets into the stories game
- Giphy, the database and search engine for looped video clips, added its version of the popular stories format to its website this week, according to The Verge. Like Snapchat and Instagram's stories — which string together multiple images in a single post — Giphy's version is a series of GIFs with subtitles.
- Giphy Stories are currently limited to content collections that the company's editorial team has assembled. The mobile stories show an automatic slideshow of GIFs that also can be swiped vertically, while the desktop version lists the GIFs in succession, similar to Twitter's Moments feature.
- Giphy's first story consist of a recap of the final episode of this season's "The Bachelorette" and a curated selection called "The best GIFs for your summer out of office email." According to Variety, the company will bring the format to its mobile apps in the coming weeks, with tools for creators coming in Q3 later the year.
The stories format that Snapchat popularized — and which Facebook subsequently added to its Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp apps — has shown its enormous power in keeping social media users engaged on their platforms, and likely will urge Giphy users to spend more time with sponsored content. Keeping users engaged is a fundamental part of increasing the likelihood that they will see more advertisements, which support social platforms' bottom line. Opening these tools to content creators will also likely make the format more robust and engaging for Giphy users seeking additional content.
The stories format has helped Instagram to compete more effectively with Snapchat, especially since the content typically disappears after 24 hours, which puts less pressure on people to create perfectly staged photos to share for eternity, per Recode. Instagram Stories has about 400 million daily users, or nearly half of its total user base of 1 billion.
Stories is likely a factor in the increasing stickiness of Instagram and Snapchat among younger users. Instagram's Android users in June spent an average of 53 minutes a day with the app, 92% more than the 28 minutes measured a year earlier by tracking firm SimilarWeb. Snapchat users spent an average of 49.5 minutes in the app in June, 49% more than the 25 minutes measured a year earlier, pointing to the potential power the stories format has in boosting engagement on the platforms.