Analysis of the Top Politician Channels on GIPHY

GIFs for Politics

GIPHY is a powerful platform for political organizations to reach their audiences. Over 700M people use GIPHY every day, with or without realizing it. This is because GIPHY distributes GIFs via native integrations with nearly all of the most popular social media and messaging apps. If someone is sharing a GIF on the internet, there’s a very high chance that it was discovered and shared using GIPHY. 

While social media has grown to be a key platform for politicians to reach and engage new audiences, many politicians have been slow to adopt GIPHY as a channel to reach people on the internet. Let’s take a look at the current political landscape on GIPHY.

The Current GIF Landscape for Politicians

The landscape of politicians and political organizations on GIPHY is surprisingly not complex. This is because overall efforts by politicians and political interests groups are low.

Very few politicians have personal GIPHY channels. There are a handful of one-off channels for local politicians created for specific campaigns, but they are quickly abandoned after either a successful or unsuccessful campaign. Surprisingly, even the politicians that win their elections (ex: Jon Ossoff) do not continue to upload new content to their GIPHY channel to build their brand.

The Major Players

The top politician GIPHY channels are naturally some of the most recognizable figures in politics, like Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden. This is due to both their fame in traditional media and culture and as being some of the most talked about politicians on the internet, specifically on social media and in meme culture.

Surprisingly younger politicians, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who are very active on social media do not have dedicated personal GIPHY channels. Although they do exist on the platform from channels like GIPHY News and GIFs that GIPHY pulls from the internet and does not associate with channels. These politicians are still searchable and exist on GIPHY, with an owned personal channel.

Democrats vs Republicans

Democrats are much more active on GIPHY than Republicans. This is most likely because they are better at attracting younger demographics and are more well versed in social media. Democrats understand the value of being on GIPHY more than Republicans do, but still do not invest heavily in the channel. 8 out of 10 of the most viewed politician GIPHY channels are Democrats.

How Politicians Can Leverage GIFs Moving Forward 

GIFs are a powerful channel for reaching millions of people to get more exposure and spread key messages. Politicians can easily convert video coverage of speeches and appearances they make into GIF format and upload to GIF platforms (GIPHY, Tenor, etc.) to get clips of themselves and their most important messages from speeches distributed on social media and messaging. This is a simple solution to communicating core values and gaining exposure to new audiences in new formats.

GIF Stickers, transparent images predominantly used in Instagram Stories and Reels, TikTok, and Snapchat, can be useful for politicians to get their base to share imagery related to their likeness and short phrases related to their core messaging. 

Politicians are missing a key avenue for reaching millions of people on a daily basis. Overall, investing resources in GIFs as a distribution channel for political figures and messaging is a low-effort, high-reward activity that more political interests should be leveraging. GIFs play an important part of the lexicon of the internet and politicians should pay attention to this undervalued channel. 

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