Aside from a low-grade entertainment value, animated gifs seem bent on little more than triggering seizures and furthering memes. One of the only times I've used them in a post was about a month ago. The motion can distract from the point you're trying to make.
When I saw an animated gif on Instagram, I wanted to post it because it was a good use of the usually abused technology. But the factoids in it focus on Facebook's purchase of Instagram. The topic's been covered and I didn't have anything to add to the discussion.
End Factoid Abuse
Regardless of the content, without context and relevance, my post would have been dancing baloney . The following video is a fun examination of how these factoid storms, without context or direct relevance, just leaves you all wet. It's a factoid mockumentary. It's...it's...well, just watch it.
Rolling Thunder 2.0
Back when 2.0 was dot com, startups were trying to flip their company instead of build it. Startups would issue a steady flow of news releases -- whether or not they had news. We called this rolling thunder. Today we all love a diet of eMarketer factoids, made even tastier with Twitter's 140-character menu, infographic eye candy and a culture where sharing content is more popular than creating it.
"Mr. Dugan, your glass house is ready..."
I'm as guilty of this habit as anyone else. Stats comparing AOL, Facebook and Draw Something's path to reach 1 million users are not only impressive, they have parallel structure! But they're out of context and don't take into account that Draw Something and Facebook benefitted from the path AOL initially carved out for them, not to mention years of technological evolution.
When we look at any research, our first question should always be: sample? From there, anytime we're trying to make a point or we're putting together anything from a tweet to a powerpoint deck, let's take a deep breath and also ask: context?