Giphy Usage Continues to Grow During Coronavirus Pandemic

The top-viewed GIFs in April highlighted positivity and ways to express love

The NFL Draft drove a 260% jump in views of NFL GIFs compared with April 2019 Giphy

People continued to turn to GIFs to close the gaps caused by social distancing, as Giphy reported that usage of its GIF discovery platform was up 13% in April 2020 compared with March and up 65% versus February.

Giphy said the top-viewed GIFs in April highlighted positivity and ways to express love, and humor also began to work its way back into the mix.

The company started up its Giphy Cares channel last month to help people find the right words to say during these tough times, and Giphy said the channel already topped 1.6 billion views.

Organizations and brand continued to find creative ways to use GIFs in support of initiatives such as Global Citizen’s One World: Together at Home concert, Verizon’s Pay It Forward campaign, Jane Fonda’s #FireDrillFriday movement with Greenpeace USA and Best Friends Animal Society’s efforts to help support shelter pet adoption.

While events such as live sports and live concerts have ground to a halt, Giphy users are taking notice of virtual efforts to at least provide a taste of those events.

Giphy said its WWE channel had its biggest month ever, with 1.1 billion views in April, driven largely by WrestleMania 36 April 4 and 5.

The National Football League Draft drove a 260% jump in views of NFL GIFs compared with April 2019 and a 184% leap in NFL Draft-related searches, with Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa winding up as the top players.

Television remained a strong presence on Giphy, with Saturday Night Live remaining its top-viewed partner channel despite the show going virtual; a surge by the CBC channel due to the final episode of Schitt’s Creek; and searches for Parks and Recreation spiking during the week of its reunion episode, making this the most-viewed GIF on the NBC channel that week.

And while people can’t get together in person for holidays, the momentum didn’t stop on Giphy, with April Fool’s Day searches up nearly four times year-over-year; Easter searched more than doubling versus Easter Week in 2019; Passover similarly up five times; and Earth Day searches tripling compared with the previous year.

Giphy said, “While there are still likely changes to come, and we are all still figuring out what ‘normal’ looks like, the data shows that people are still finding moments of levity, humor, compassion and sincerity among everything going on. For instance, while March saw distinct spikes for ‘coronavirus’ searches, April is telling a different story—showing a gradual decrease in searches for the virus, along with an increase in searches for more timely moments and holidays.”

Giphy David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.