GifYoutube: Innovating on the Use of Animated GIFs
Rough Draft Ventures is excited to support Rory and Kieran O’Reilly of GifYoutube as they change the way we consume GIFs, videos, and content. The site allows for an easy, seamless way of making GIFs from YouTube videos and sharing them with friends. Despite going live just a few months ago, GifYoutube is now the world’s largest and fastest GIF creator.
Rory and Kieran started working on GifYoutube out of their love for GIFs and the realization that they weren’t alone: people were using and consuming GIF’s on Reddit, Buzzfeed, Tumblr, etc. They found that this mass obsession was based on three main hurdles to discovering videos: misleading video thumbnails, advertisements, and extraneous content in videos. GIFs provide a new and unique way of distributing content with instant content gratification. With these observations in mind, they set out to build a GIF-centric product.
They left Harvard for San Francisco and began building their product. On July 6th, GifYoutube went live and allowed users to easily create GIFs by simply adding “gif” to the beginning of any YouTube URL. By October they had over 1 million unique users. By November over 900,000 GIFs had been created on the site. Their admirers grew rapidly and included TechCrunch,Business Insider, and Buzzfeed, to name a few. Beyond the press, they found love among users — GifYoutube became #1 on Hacker News, Product Hunt, /r/technology, and imgur.
As they continue to build out features, their focus is on expanding the use of GIFs beyond sharing content with friends. Stay tuned for more details — they’ll be changing the way you interact with GIFs.