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Twitter Adds New Simplified GIF Creation Process in the Tweet Composer

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Twitter Adds New Simplified GIF Creation Process in the Tweet Composer


Um, this is… new, I guess.

Today, Twitter has announced that it’s added a new option to more easily create GIFs in-app for users on iOS.

As you can see in this example, now, when you go to the Twitter Camera in the tweet composer, you’ll see a new ‘GIF’ creation option, in addition to ‘Video’, ‘Capture’ and ‘Live’. Within this, you can easily create a GIF of anything you like – just tap and hold on the record button, film your GIF, then post. Easy as pie.

Which is good, it’s a helpful, simple GIF option. But you could actually do this already, albeit in a slightly different form.

Back in 2019, Twitter added the capacity to transform your Live photos on iOS into GIFs within the composition process.

The new GIF process is pretty much the same, it just takes out one step, in that you don’t have to tap on the GIF button on the Live image.

I mean, that does make it easier, and it could well get more people posting their own, unique GIFs, now that they have a dedicated function for such in the Twitter Camera. But it’s not new, while there are also various other GIF creation options available online, so functionally, it’s not a revelation, as such.

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Of course, it doesn’t have to be, and simplification is often just as good as innovation in many aspects of social media apps. And with Twitter looking to add 100 million new users over the next two years, simplification is definitely important, in order to maximize engagement – but how valuable, or useful, this new option will be, I’m not really sold on at this stage.

Really, the best GIFs are those from TV shows and movies, and while you can create your own, most of them won’t be as interesting or engaging as these more well-known reaction memes and trends.

Which is why it’s worth noting that you could do this already. Because nobody really does. We’ve been able to GIF ourselves, direct within the Tweet composer for two and a half years, and it hasn’t been a hit functionality, so hard to see it catching on in any significant way now.

In any event, it’s all part of Twitter’s expanded visual focus, which could see it roll out a range of new tools in the coming months in an effort to boost tweet engagement.

Which could be good, or interesting at least. But easier GIF creation? Meh.





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Meta Will Shut Down its Newsletter Platform Early Next Year

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Meta's Reallocating Resources Away from Bulletin and its News Tab, Which Could See Publishers Lose Out

In news that will surprise no-one, Meta has today confirmed that it’s shutting down its ‘Bulletin’ newsletter platform, just 18 months after its initial launch.

Another sign of Meta’s fleeting interest in the latest trends, the company launched Bulletin in April 2021, as part of an effort to take a piece of the growing newsletter market, with platforms like Substack seeing massive growth in facilitating direct connection between writers and their audiences. Twitter also acquired newsletter platform Revue, and it had seemed, at the time, that newsletters could offer a new, supplementary income stream for creators, aligned with social apps.

In addition to this, Meta also saw an opportunity to provide a platform for local publications that had been shut down due to the pandemic. With ad dollars from local businesses drying up, due to lockdown measures, many smaller publications had to shut down, and Meta viewed this as a chance to make Facebook an even more critical element of community engagement, by providing a direct pathway for independent journalists to serve their audiences through the app.

As part of its initial push, Meta allocated $5 million in funding for local publications to convert to Bulletin instead.

And it sort of worked. Bulletin, at last at one stage, supported over 115 publications, with more than half of the creators on the platform reaching over 1,000 subscribers.

But this year, amid tougher market conditions, Meta lost interest.

The company has been gradually scaling back its investment in news and original content in recent months. Back in July, The Wall Street Journal reported that Meta had reallocated resources from both its Facebook News tab and Bulletin, in order to ‘heighten their focus on building a more robust Creator economy’

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In other words, Reels – Meta’s main investment focus for the future of the Creator Economy is short-form video content, which drives more views, more engagement, and is the big trend that Meta’s chasing right now.

As a result, Meta says that it will shut down Bulletin by early next year.

As per Meta:

“Bulletin has allowed us to learn about the relationship between Creators and their audiences and how to better support them in building their community on Facebook. While this off-platform product itself is ending, we remain committed to supporting these and other Creators’ success and growth on our platform.”

So long as they create Reels, I guess.

Again, the decision here is no surprise, but it does serve as another reminder that Meta chases whatever trends it can, and it has no real, long-term commitment on any of its new pushes.

Video is the thing, as it has been several times before, and Meta will keep pushing that till audiences lose interest. Then it’ll be something else that Meta’s pitching to brands, publishers, users, etc.

Logically, Meta follows the latest trends in order to maximize the benefit of such within its tools. But it is worth noting that, when it does lose interest, it tends to move on entirely, leaving anyone who’s invested in its last whim out in the cold.

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Overall, Bulletin isn’t huge, and it won’t impact a heap of writers and publishers, as such. But even so, for those that have invested in the platform, in good faith, it’s a bitter pill, and while they will now be able to move on to other platforms as well, it’s good to remind yourself that Meta chases trends, and moves on quick.

‘Don’t build on rented land’. ‘Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket’. Don’t trust social platforms to keep supporting that feature or platform that you’ve come to rely on.

The closure of Bulletin may seem like a side note to many, but it’s an important reminder that you need to diversify your strategy to avoid such impacts.

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