Twitter wants you to share more GIFs, that’s why the company is testing a new GIF button inside its mobile app.
Some lucky users are seeing a button that appears between the camera and poll icons inside the Twitter for Android app. We haven’t managed to replicate this ourselves here at TechCrunch (on Android or iOS) but one user — Phil Pearlman — told us that pushing the button lets you select trending GIFs, or click through to choose based on mood categories. That’s much like the dedicated GIF button inside Facebook Messenger, which pulls up content from Riffsy and Giphy. But at this point, we don’t know which partner/partners Twitter is working with.
Pearlman posted a screenshot of what he saw but, right after doing so, the button mysteriously disappeared from his app before he was able to provide us with screenshots. (He’s not the only one who lost it.)
Twitter often conducts tests of new features and changes among small userbases, so there’s nothing new here.
When we reached out to the company for comment, though, it provided us with the following response.
Ha ha, we see what you did there, Twitter, 👍👏😉
Pearlman isn’t alone in seeing the button, plenty of other users are tweeting about it, and — unsurprisingly — their tweets include GIFs, such as:
I guess that’s what you call a promising early rollout — let’s see if/when the button becomes an official feature for all users.
At this point GIFs might just be a bit of fun and an opportunity to brighten up tweets, but there may be commercial value to them in the future. Messaging app Kik just launched its first branded GIFs, and, with Twitter already monetizing emojis to the (reported) tune of $1 million a pop per brand, it seems plausible that GIFs could become a money-maker, too.