Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

New Blippy Mobile App Will Help You Find the Perfect Reaction GIF

Wherever there is fertile ground on the Internet (i.e., they aren’t disabled), GIFs will flourish. The compressed, silent, automatically playing and repeating little bits of video are one of those essential oddities of the Internet.

When you want to express contempt on an online forum, why not use a Lucille Bluth eye-roll? When you want talk about the weather on Tumblr, why not use a dramatic “winter is coming” snippet? GIFs are kind of like virtual stickers that express emotion and establish that everyone’s in on the joke.

People take it way too far — there’s even a section of Reddit devoted to entire movies squeezed into GIFs, which are utterly unwatchable, and thus, in a weird way, maybe not actually that bad of a copyright infringement.

But as public and private conversations shift over to our phones, it may be harder to find that perfect reaction GIF to express what you want to say to a friend. Enter Blippy, a new iPhone app with a library of thousands of GIFs that it makes easy to superimpose a message and send to friends via text or social networks. For now, users can only choose from approved GIFs, but eventually they’ll likely be able to create and submit new ones.

Basically: It’s GIFs on mobile.

Blippy, if you can believe it, is a simple GIF-creation tool that was three years in the making.

The app comes from Silicon Valley entrepreneur David King, who previously sold Green Patch to Playdom and worked at Google, and has raised angel funding from what he termed “the usual suspects” to play around with mobile app development. After much noodling, Blippy is the first project the team has released to the general public.

King said he has a hunch that GIF-lovers are already looking for a tool like Blippy for mobile, as there are parallels like Giphy on the Web. He nabbed the app name from its previous, infamous-to-few incarnation as a strange social network for sharing automated feeds of credit-card purchases. Why? He thought it was fun.

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First the NSA came for, well, jeez pretty much everybody’s data at this point, and I said nothing because wait how does this joke work

— Parker Higgins via Twitter