Facebook Finally Adds Animated GIFs to the News Feed … but Not for Brand Pages

For marketers, network says it's 'exploring ways to enable this'

For those who love looping animated nonsense, today is a magical day on Facebook. Unless you're also a marketer.

Animated GIFs, long a staple of Tumblr, Reddit and Web forums, have finally been added today to the Facebook news feed. Noticeably, though, the autoplaying GIFs don't seem to be working yet on brand pages.

Likely emboldened by the success of its autoplaying videos, Facebook seems to have dropped its prohibition against users posting animated GIFs. By pasting a link into a status update on a personal account, you can now add an animated GIF right into Facebook's news feed, where it will play and loop to your heart's content (though the animation seems to stop after a certain amount of time).

However, trying the same thing on a brand page currently just yields a still image. Fans who click the image will be taken out of Facebook to view the animated GIF on the site that hosts it.

That's bad news for marketing pros who've grown accustomed to playing alongside consumers whenever new features are added to big social sites.

It looks like Facebook might have been testing the feature over the past few days, per this tweet from a social media specialist based in Birmingham, England.

We've reached out to Facebook to find out when the feature might be rolled out to business pages.

UPDATE: A Facebook spokesperson sent Adweek the following statement on animated GIF integration with business pages:

"We built support for animated GIFs to help people express themselves in fun new ways on Facebook. Like many features that we release on Facebook, we want to ensure that this drives a great experience for people first before rolling it out more widely. While Pages cannot currently post GIFs, we are exploring ways to enable this in the future." 

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