Cinemagraphs Make Their Way to Facebook Ads


Facebook is continuing to push the boundaries for standard social media advertising. They keep pushing because to help advertisers is to help themselves. Facebook’s latest updates to their ads’ functionality is hypnotic and, if done well, downright beautiful.

The latest change is intended to attract the eye and halt your thumb from its continuous scroll down your Facebook feed. The creative format that is taking digital media by storm is aptly named “cinemagraph.” Facebook is challenging advertisers to create visually stimulating and thoughtful half-video, half-photograph ads.

It is expected that we are going to start seeing a ton of these ad types on Facebook. Cinemagraphs have been making their rounds through the media world for the past few years, but they have yet to find themselves on such an active and widespread platform. The file format is a type of moving GIF, with subtle movement on a loop.


The style was first introduced in ads placed on Tumblr created by Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck for luxury brands. Since Facebook introduced autoplay, where a video or motion graphic will automatically play when a user is scrolling over it, cinemagraphs offer marketers an opportunity to grab coveted user attention.


A few brands have already taken on the possibilities provided by auto play, such as Coca-Cola and Stouffer’s. Luxury brands like Chopard have also leveraged moving GIFs to drive organic social campaigns on micro social sites. The key to a successful cinemagraph is a seamless loop between the beginning and end of the moving cycle.


Burg and Beck came across the visually appealing effect when they were playing around with the idea of “isolated motion.” There is something mesmerizing about an isolated image with one moving element, it is difficult to take your eyes away from the image as an art piece.


Cinemagraphs morph together the best elements of photography and video while eliminating the negatives. When someone is scrolling on their smartphone through their Facebook feed, they typically do not want to hear the sound associated with a video. Well, a cinemagraph is a soundless motion graphic that tells a story in silence and with more elegance.

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