Is TV the future of Internet? Newsletters are turning into GIFs, fast.

I like to call out new trends I’m noticing. I wrote about the rise of GIFs recently, and that there’s little reason for any element of a web page to stay static. Take a look at these newsletters and think of what’s to come.

My newsletters are GIFs!
Neiman Marcus, Printstagram, io9, NYT, and The Guardian

Neiman Marcus sent me a newsletter I didn’t even have to click through, or scroll down to see everything there was to see – new DVF dresses, literally flashing before my eyes, in perfectly timed transitions. That whole newsletter was a complete GIF.

Printstagram sent out an announcement about turning Instagram pics into holiday cards – great idea and yes, illustrated by a GIF.  Even their landing page is a giant GIF, quite beautifully done.

And it’s not just newsletters. Many sites still lead with a strong image – Medium is a good example – and, while that’s a bit of a standard, I’m now seeing some sites using GIFs as header images.

Not to mention the infamous NYT Snow Fall project and the latest Guardian interactive on Snowden. Both do brilliant things with animation.

Is TV the future of Internet?

Over the past four years, the percent of adult internet users who upload or post videos online has doubled from 14% in 2009 to 31% today. There’s no denying that moving images are more captivating and awe-inspiring than text and static photographs. There’s a reason we moved from print to huge Hollywood flicks in 3D.

Internet was supposed to be different. Yet for so many of us watching videos and gifs on our screens internet becomes essentially a passive user experience, where our “engagement” is akin to switching channels on TV. Click. Press. Glide. Nothing on.

Is TV the future of the Internet? What do you think?

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