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BizReport : Advertising archives : February 12, 2015

Facebook eyes up cinemagraphs to keep users transfixed on ads

Imagine an ad format that transfixes consumers. An ad format that mesmerizes yet is not intrusive. Imagine no more and take a look for yourself at cinemagraphs, Facebook is.

by Helen Leggatt

Ok, so cinemagraphs are not new. They've been around for some time but were popularized and introduced to the ad world by Kevin Burg, a visual graphics artist and photographer Jamie Beck who trademarked the term cinemagraph. In a nutshell, cinemagraphs are a sub-set of a .gif that features a very small element of movement centred on one aspect of the frame.

Many are works of art, and some, like the bacon image below, can really get the juices flowing.


"An animated .gif is usually a sequence of stills pulled from video, animated art, or other imagery that is repurposed into a .gif. What we do is different because it's a traditional still photograph with a moment living within it. For us it's less about the .gif format - just the vessel by which it's best to deliver them on the web, although the limitations of the format have been very influential on the visual style of our images," explained Burg and Beck to The Huffington Post. "The .gif format itself is ancient by internet standards but much like photography people are always finding interesting new ways to communicate within the confines of existing formats."

Now take that image format and put it on a social network like Facebook with auto-play. Instead of a sometimes annoying and distracting video playing on a newsfeed, users could be pleasantly distracted and engaged by a cinemagraph.

According to Burg, "People can't stop staring at them," adding, "Isn't that what advertisers want?"

Various reports have alluded to the fact that Facebook is in talks with Burg and Beck to bring cinemagraphs to users' newsfeeds.

While Facebook are keeping schtum about the ad format, an advertising executive told AdWeek, "You're going to start seeing a ton of these on Facebook," after he said he had seen a guide produced by Facebook called "Hacking Facebook Autoplay".

Cinemagraphs are not hard to create and the Internet is awash with tutorials such as this one.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: advertising, social media, trend, video

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