GIFs

Twitch streamers can now let viewers react with GIFs

Posted by | game streaming, Gaming, GIFs, giphy, streaming service, Twitch | No Comments

Giphy is coming to Twitch . For the first time, Giphy is bringing its library of animated GIFs to the Amazon-owned game streaming service. The company today is launching a Giphy extension for Twitch streamers that will allow viewers to react in real-time using GIFs during a broadcast. The idea is that GIFs could make streams more engaging and entertaining, which would, in turn, attract retain viewers for longer periods of time.

Twitch extensions were first introduced last year, but only recently did Twitch add support for running multiple extensions at once. That could encourage more developers to try out the Giphy extension, without having to give up their other favorite overlays.

To use the new extension, the streamer will first configure which part of the screen area will be used to display the GIFs viewers post. Once the extension is activated, viewers will be able to access it during a broadcast via a Giphy icon and the search terms they enter into the message bar.

Twitch is not the first game streaming site to experiment with GIF reactions. The newer site Caffeine had this as a feature, too, but pulled it before launch because they found it could be used for harassment. Twitch and Giphy are hoping to not make the sane mistake by curating the catalog of GIFs that can be shared.

According to Twitch, Giphy’s content is moderated to remove those GIFs that are “overtly offense” to any race, gender, ethnicity or community. It’s also limiting GIFs to those with a PG rating and below, which will prohibit users from posting GIFs with violence, sexual references, and other lewd terms, it says.

“Extensions are a great framework designed to make channels on Twitch more interactive so creators can better engage and retain their fans,” said Amir Shevat, Twitch VP of Developer Experience, in a statement. “With Giphy tapping into their extensive library of animated GIFs for their new Extension, it adds a fun and compelling new element to the social video experience that is sure to resonate with the current meme generation.”

Extensions are one of Twitch’s differentiating features in the game streaming market. Thanks to Twitch’s scale, there are now thousands of these add-ons and overlays in development, and over 250 which have gone live since the feature’s launch. Dozens of these, including Giphy’s, also work alongside others, allowing streamers to better customize their broadcasts and channels.

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Snapchat brings back GIPHY after removal due to racist GIF

Posted by | Apps, GIFs, giphy, instagram, Mobile, Snapchat, Social, TC | No Comments

After a racial slur GIF caused Snapchat to remove its GIPHY sticker feature, Snapchat confirms to TechCrunch it’s reinstated its integration. GIPHY has apologized, fixed the bug that let the objectionable GIF slip through, and reviewed its GIF sticker library four times in an effort to guarantee that offensive content won’t end up in apps that embed it. Instagram had also removed GIPHY, but reinstated it last week with Snapchat saying it had nothing to share yet.

A Snap spokesperson told TechCrunch that over the past several weeks, the Snap team worked with GIPHY to revamp its moderation systems. Now Snap is confident that the fresh approach will protect users, so its brought the GIF stickers back. They let people embellish their photos and videos with overlaid animated illustrations and video clips.

So ends a month-long ordeal that started when a U.K. user spotted a GIF containing a racial slur for people of color. Snapchat removed the GIPHY feature as press backlash in the U.K. mounted. Instagram wasn’t aware of the issue until informed by TechCrunch, leading it to remove the GIPHY feature within an hour.

Warning: We’ve shared a censored version of the GIF below, but it still includes graphic content that may be offensive to some users.

The situation highlights the risks of working with outside developers that aren’t entirely under a platform’s control. Piping in external utilities lets apps quickly expand their offering to users. But if developers misuse people’s data, deliver broken functionality, or let objectionable content through, it can reflect poorly on the app hosting them. Facebook is currently dealing with this backlash surrounding Cambridge Analytica. Meanwhile, Instagram just severely restricted its APIs without warning, breaking many developers’ apps in what’s believed to be part of Facebook’s push to shore up data privacy.

Favoring news publishers, Snapchat historically never actively embraced developers, banning use of outside apps that require your Snapchat credentials. It’s more recently started letting devs build and promote their own augmented reality lenses. But after this set-back, we’ll have to see if Snapchat becomes any more reluctant to work with partners.

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Instagram reenables GIF sharing after GIPHY promises no more racism

Posted by | Apps, Developer, Drama, GIFs, giphy, instagram, Media, Mobile, racism, Snapchat, Social, Startups, TC | No Comments

A racial slur GIF slipped into GIPHY’s sticker library earlier this month, prompting Instagram and Snapchat to drop their GIPHY integrations. Now Instagram is reactivating after GIPHY confirmed its reviewed its GIF library four times and will preemptively review any new GIFs it adds. Snapchat said it had nothing to share right now about whether it’s going to reactivate GIPHY.

“We’ve been in close contact with GIPHY throughout this process and we’re confident that they have put measures in place to ensure that Instagram users have a good experience” an Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch. GIPHY told TechCrunch in a statement that “To anyone who was affected: we’re sorry. We take full responsibility for this recent event and under no circumstances does
GIPHY condone or support this kind of content . . . We have also finished a full investigation into our content moderations systems and processes and have made specific changes to our process to ensure soemthing like this does not happen again.”

We first reported Instagram was building a GIPHY integration back in January before it launched a week later, with Snapchat adding a similar feature in February. But it wasn’t long before things went wrong. First spotted by a user in the U.K. around March 8th, the GIF included a racial slur. We’ve shared a censored version of the image below, but warning, it still includes graphic content that may be offensive to some users.

When asked, Snapchat told TechCrunch ““We have removed GIPHY from our application until we can be assured that this will never happen again.” Instagram wasn’t aware that the racist GIF was available in its GIPHY integration until informed by TechCrunch, leading to a shut down of the feature within an hour. An Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch “This type of content has no place on Instagram.” After 12 hours of silence, GIPHY responded the next morning, telling us “After investigation of the incident, this sticker was available due to a bug in our content moderation filters specifically affecting GIF stickers.”

The fiasco highlights the risks of major platforms working with third-party developers to brings outside and crowdsourced content into their apps. Snapchat historically resisted working with established developers, but recently has struck more partnerships particularly around augmented reality lenses and marketing service providers. While it’s an easy way to provide more entertainment and creative expression tools, developer integrations also force companies to rely on the quality and safety of things they don’t fully control. As Instagram and Snapchat race for users around the world, they’ll have to weigh the risks and rewards of letting developers into their gardens.

GIPHY’s full statement is below.

CHANGES TO GIPHY’S STICKER MODERATION
Before we get into the details, we wanted to take a moment and sincerely apologize for the
deeply offensive sticker discovered by a user on March 8, 2018. To anyone who was affected:
we’re sorry. We take full responsibility for this recent event and under no circumstances does
GIPHY condone or support this kind of content.
The content was immediately removed and after investigation a bug was found in our content
moderation filters affecting stickers. This bug was immediately fixed and all stickers were re-
moderated.
We have also finished a full investigation into our content moderation systems and processes
and have made specific changes to our process to ensure something like this does not happen
again.

THE CHANGES
After fixing the bug in our content moderation filters and confirming that the sticker was
successfully detected, we re-moderated our entire sticker library 4x.
We have also added another level of GIPHY moderation before each sticker is approved into
the library. This is now a permanent addition to our moderation process.
We hope this will ensure that GIPHY stickers will always be fun and safe no matter where you
see them.

THE FUTURE AND BEYOND
GIFs and Stickers are supposed to make the Internet a better, more entertaining place.
GIPHY is committed to making sure that’s always the case. As GIPHY continues to grow, we’re
going to continue looking for ways to improve our user experience. Please let us know how we
can help at: support@giphy.com.
Team Giphy.

 

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Google brings its GIF-making Motion Stills app to Android

Posted by | Android, android apps, Apps, GIFs, Google, Mobile, motion stills, Photography, photos, TC | No Comments

 Google last year introduced an app called Motion Stills that aimed to help iOS users do more with their Live Photos – including being able to crop out blurry frames, stabilize images, and even turn Apple’s Live Photos format into more sharable GIFs. Today, Google says it’s bringing Motion Stills to Android, along with a few changes. Obviously, Android users aren’t in… Read More

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WhatsApp adds GIF support in iOS app

Posted by | Apps, Facebook, GIFs, iOS, messaging, Mobile, WhatsApp | No Comments

facebook-whatsapp-screen Amid increased competition from Apple’s iMessage, Snapchat, and Google’s new entry Allo, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has now rolled out support for sharing GIFs in its messaging application on iOS. According to the app update text in iTunes, the new feature will allow users to send and receive GIFs, including Live Photos and shorter videos, both of which can be now converted to… Read More

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Gfycat brings its higher quality GIFs and DIY creation tools to iMessage

Posted by | Apps, Gfycat, GIFs, imessage apps, iOS apps, Mobile, Social, Startups, TC, Video | No Comments

gfycat messages Gfycat, the startup that recently raised a whopping $10 million for its user-generated content platform that lets you creating silent, looping animations and videos, has now launched its first mobile app. Designed for iMessage, Gfycat lets you search for, send and create your own “Gfycat Loops,” which you can also augment with your own emojis and captions. There are already a number… Read More

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Apple’s iPhone Live Photos Now Work On Tumblr

Posted by | animations, Apple, Apps, GIFs, live photos, Media, Mobile, TC, tumblr | No Comments

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 3.53.40 PM If you’re a Tumblr user who happens to have an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, today is your lucky day. The Tumblr team dropped an update that includes support for both 3D Touch and Live Photo. The Live Photo bit is super interesting because Tumblr is a place where GIFs and animated images tend to get shared and re-shared at pretty rapid rates. The best part is that you can view them even if… Read More

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VSCO Takes On Instagram’s Boomerang With Its New GIF Creation App DSCO

Posted by | Apps, dsco, GIFs, Mobile, Photography, Startups, TC, VSCO | No Comments

dsco VSCO, one of the few apps to give Facebook’s Instagram solid competition with a photo editing application aimed at more serious mobile photographers, is today releasing its next new creation. DSCO, as the just-launched spin-off is called, takes advantage of VSCO’s imaging technology to allow users to create short, looping GIF images which can be shared to VSCO’s user… Read More

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Disney Now Has Its Own GIF App And iOS 8 Keyboard

Posted by | animated GIFs, Apps, children, Disney, families, GIFs, iOS 8 keyboards, kids, Mobile, parents, Social, TC | No Comments

Disney-Gif-app-logo-600x300 Disney has now somewhat belatedly joined the ranks of the numerous app publishers offering their own custom keyboards for iOS 8 users with the launch of an iOS application called Disney Gif. The new app is a mobile keyboard extension that lets you share Disney and Pixar-themed GIFs via text messaging as well as email and social networks. At launch, the app includes over 200 GIFs, the… Read More

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