What Cinemagraphs Mean For the Future of Advertising — And Your Facebook Photos

What Cinemagraphs Mean For the Future of Advertising — And Your Facebook Photos

Facebook is now allowing cinemagraph profile photos in the form of 7-second loop videos. It's a new trend that's making advertisements and personal profile photos magical.

Anna Johansson
  • 18 january 2016

As the world’s largest social media network, Facebook has a lot of uses, both from a personal perspective and a business one. There are currently 1.55 billion active users on Facebook who use the platform to connect with friends, share valued information, express personality, link with businesses, and so much more. Now, Facebook has rolled out a new feature to let users express their individuality and connect with others. It comes in the form of the Facebook cinemagraph video profile.

The Video Profile Trend

Since the rollout of this new feature, Facebook users have been granted the option to use 7-second looping videos to replace static profile photos. California and the United Kingdom were the first selected testers of the profiles, and now they’re becoming commonplace around the world.

You can imagine the possibilities. The once completely static profile photo now has the opportunity to be a unique portrayal of classic personality. It’s simple to do, and it effectively bridges the gap between photos and video in social media.

This is also an incredible innovation for businesses, particularly in the advertisement category. These cinemagraphs are much quieter and personable than noisy videos. It’s mimicking a style of ads that have been used on Tumblr in the past as a great way to draw more attention to the ad. It’s an incredible growth initiative for Facebook that’s competing with Google talent to win over the web. This new, low-cost ad style gives even the smallest of businesses an edge over competitors if they act quickly.

Flixel’s Pioneering Venture

The team at Flixel recently decided to give the cinemagraph video profile feature a try. Nine of their staff members posed for a video in order to test out the ease of creating the 7-second gif. They even provided a simple guide.

The steps include choosing an action and recording a few short clips of that action in play. Once you’ve developed adequate footage, edit the video in the app Cinemagraph Pro for iOS or Mac. This process includes trimming the length, masking the motion portion, and deciding the loop type. From there, you can export the 6-second video (so it fits in the 7-second time frame), and upload it as your profile picture.

See the entire video tutorial below.

Making a Great Profile Cinemagraph

The concept behind the video is fairly simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to create great art. The best cinemagraphs are truly striking with a high quality photo and a well-chosen form of movement.

Consider these “mesmerizing cinemagraphs” posted on Hubspot. Each one is artfully displayed with a few things that show true character and cleverly displayed motion. The cinemagraph doesn’t hide the fact that a photo is low quality, so it’s important to edit a good photo first if elegance and professionalism is the motice. If the photo is high quality, it will enhance that fact.

Cinemagraphs for Profit

Styling a profile cinemagraph must be just right for ad campaigns as well. This is likely going to be the next best thing in advertisements all over the web, and companies will do well to get the style of their cinemagraphs down to a science. It involves a high quality background detailing just the right thing.

For example, take a look at this cinemagraph advertisement from Ecco Domani. Everything in the background is bright and speaks of wealth and contentment. The food and greenery look lovely, and the company excellent. The only thing in motion is the glass of white wine, swishing in the sunlight. As it reflects the sun and the beauty around it, it’s hard not to feel just a little thirsty looking at it.

This kind of effective style is what will take ad campaigns to the next level. It’s the notion of “isolated motion” that makes them so compelling, according to Burg and Beck, some of the first makers of cinemagraph advertisements posted to Tumblr and other social sites. “People can’t stop staring at them,” Burg said. “Isn’t that what advertisers want? We’ve had all kinds of new inquiries [from brands]. They don’t want video that’s so noisy; they want a cinemagraph because it has elegance.”

Whether you want a cinemagraph for personal use or business, it’s a simple and easy way to catch attention with art of your making.

Woman taking video via Shutterstock

+fashion / apparel

More in advertising


Australian Wine Label Animates 18th-Century Convicts In AR

The app tells the stories of convicts exiled to Australia who are featured on the wine bottles

20 October 2017

Adobe Prototype Improves How Immersive Content Is Edited

The Project #SonicScape prototype helps editors work with 360-degree footage and audio

20 October 2017

The Latest


To move beyond novelty activations and one-time gimmicks, PSFK equips marketers with the insights, templates and analytics to develop high-reach campaigns that meet consumers in the moment, collect and build upon experiential data, and build scale through content creation.

October 18, 2017

Wearable X CEO Billie Whitehouse spoke to PSFK 2017 about designing wearables for all five senses and maintaining a sense of humor

September 27, 2017
No search results found.