Animated GIFs Have Major Reach — And Television Is Capitalizing On It
Programs like the Oscars, the Super Bowl and "The Bachelor" are capitalizing on the GIF format to extend their reach beyond the TV screen. Less than a week after the 2020 Academy Awards, a GIF of comedians Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig garnered more than 36 million views while only 23 million people watched the actual show. Online platforms have several deals with television producers to circulate animated GIFs taken from their TV shows.
■Class discussion: Does seeing an online animated GIF from a show such as “The Bachelor” make you more likely to watch that program on television? Why or why not? Why are television programs sharing GIFs online or even including animated GIFs on their shows? Is the growth of internet use threatening traditional television producers? Do you find most animated GIFs to be entertaining or are they more often silly or boring? Do you spend more time online or watching regularly programmed TV shows?