Ever heard of cinemagraphs? No? Cinemagraphs are neither still images nor video, but they retain an amount of stillness and movement as if they were both. The short answer is that they are looped image sequences or videos – the effect is a still image with an area of movement. Till now we’ve seen them being used on platforms that support animated GIFs – Tumblr is very well-known for that – but now they have also found their way into Facebook as autoplaying videos as well as Instagram as looping videos, with astounding results – opening up all kinds of possibilities for advertising on social platforms, with this interesting “new ad format”.
All cinemagraphs in this article were created for clients by photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, who actually coined the term after using the format for their work. They are known as the creators of the cinemagraph.
Also Read: Looping Videos Come To Instagram
The GIF format has been around for over 20 years, and we can certainly tell. Animated GIFs produce big files that don’t really give you much to work with. They are very limited, especially in terms of their quality. They are certainly nothing impressive. Videos are really starting to catch, on social media – up until now, only YouTube was the place to go for video. Now Facebook and Twitter are joining in.
Facebook itself is already becoming very popular with video and is developing ways to make it more and more popular as an ad offering. Here comes video autoplay – As GIFs don’t play on the platform, but videos do, the idea is to create an animated image that will autoplay in the newsfeed.
Instead of exporting as GIF, you just export as video and buy a Facebook video ad property for it. Easy. Now, there is no loop function on Facebook yet, so you’d have to create a long video that loops itself – On the other hand, Instagram does offer looping video. The new features will soon line up and create the right environment for a lot of ad creativity – I look forward to it.
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Cinemagraphs are a lot more interesting than simple images as ads, and are certainly more elegant and eye-catching. Once you start staring at one, it’s difficult to look away. They are simply captivating!
A lot more companies are starting to catch on to the idea of cinemagraphs as adverts, and with recent new features from Facebook and Instagram, I think we could expect things to get a whole lot more interesting pretty soon. For now, all you need is a little creativity and a program like Flixel, and you’re on a roll.