Compassion, Virtual Events, and Holidays Lead GIPHY’s April Insights

In April, we continued to see people communicate more and more with a 13% increase in usage of GIPHY when compared to March and a 65% increase when compared to February. In fact, we are seeing scale in the U.S. sustained at levels close to the spikes we typically see for a big moment, like New Year’s Eve.

So, what exactly has all of this use of GIFs, Stickers, Videos, etc. shown us? In short, that people care… a lot. And they care about a lot of things — each other, the IRL events that are now online, and much much more. Here’s what we saw on GIPHY in April:

People are Looking for the Right Words to Encourage Each Other

Ultimately, people are continuing to look for ways to express themselves, encourage each other, and keep in touch. In reviewing April’s top-viewed GIFs, we saw two from March take the #1 and #2 spots — both highlighting positivity and ways to say “I love you.” We also see some humor return to the mix, with new contenders expressing feelings like “oop!”, “laughter” and a joyful “hello.”

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This past month, we also launched a brand new channel — GIPHY Cares — to help people find the right words to say during these times. In less than a month since launching, this channel has already reached 1.6 billion views. Couple this with the increasing traffic we see of GIF use in general (as well as in the messaging space overall), and it shows a distinct need by people to communicate with each other and support one another. Some of the top-viewed GIFs from GIPHY Cares include:

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We also continue to see organizations and brands use GIFs in creative ways to help support their own community initiatives, such as Global Citizen’s “One World: Together at Home” concert, Verizon’s Pay it Forward campaign, Jane Fonda’s #FireDrillFriday Movement with Greenpeace USA, and this, frankly, very adorable content from Best Friends Animal Society to help support shelter pet adoption.

People Still Care About the Things That Would’ve Happened IRL, Perhaps More Than Ever

While it may seem as though the world has gone on pause — and in many ways it has — many organizations are finding creative ways to bring typically IRL events to digital platforms; and our data shows that people are talking about those events a lot. For example:

  • Propelled by a two-night WrestleMania event, the WWE GIPHY Channel saw its biggest month yet, with 1.1 billion views in April alone; the biggest spikes happening on April 4–5 (the dates of WrestleMania 36).
  • The NFL Draft had a major moment with its first-ever draft live-streamed from coaches’ and players’ homes (which was also live-GIF’d on GIPHY). This certainly had people talking, and we saw a 260% increase in views of NFL GIFs when comparing April 2020 to April 2019 (the month of last year’s draft as well). There was also nearly a 184% increase in draft-related searches compared to 2019. As far as the most-GIF’d players from the draft, Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa easily took those spots based on views:
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  • SNL has also gone fully remote, but according to our data, still has people engaged and using its GIFs to communicate. SNL remains our top-viewed partner channel and April was one of the channel’s highest-viewed months on GIPHY.
  • When fan favorite, Schitts Creek, aired its last episode in April… we saw the official CBC GIPHY channel rank as one of the top GIPHY channels that week. While we will miss this show dearly, at least we can always relive it in GIF form.
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Top-viewed Schitt’s Creek GIF from CBC Channel

Holidays are Still Very Important to People, Even When Virtual

Even though people couldn’t celebrate major holidays with close friends, family, and loved ones, they took their well wishes online. We saw significant increases in searches for major holidays, including April Fool’s, which shows that — even though brands and companies took it easy on the day — it was something people still wanted to talk about individually.

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Overall, we are encouraged to see how people continue to communicate with each other, even when apart.

In summary….

While there are still likely changes to come, and we are all still figuring out what “normal” looks like, the data shows that people are still finding moments of levity, humor, compassion, and sincerity among everything going on. For instance, while March saw distinct spikes for “coronavirus” searches, April is telling a different story — showing a gradual decrease in searches for the virus along with an increase in searches for more timely moments and holidays.

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We hope this data is insightful and helps showcase the way our users are feeling, reacting, and communicating. As we emphasized in last month’s post, we know this doesn’t tell everyone’s story, but we are encouraged to see the continued positivity and sincerity that continues to drive the majority of GIPHY searches. Stay healthy, friends.

— Team GIPHY

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GIPHY is all the GIFs. We’re the first and largest GIF search engine where artists, brands, and users alike go to make everyday conversation more entertaining.

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