For the first time ever you'll be able to see how many times a GIF has been viewed, so long as it's hosted by Giphy. That sounds pretty useful for internet professionals and social media celebs. As for the rest of us, well, it'll at least be easy to figure out the best reaction GIFs -- and we'll have a pretty good indicator of which memes have jumped the shark.
At this point in time, Giphy's counter only works for the database's official artists and partners, such as MTV and NBA. Further, it will only take a view into account if a GIF is viewed on Giphy.com or through one of its distribution networks, including Facebook, Twitter, iMessage and WhatsApp. Every time a GIF is loaded, the platform considers that as one view, even if you close it quickly after it's served. However, Giphy doesn't count loops like Vine did. To see how many views a GIF has, you must look at it on the platform's website and find the count on its right side under the share icons.
The company has revealed its most viewed GIFs along with the announcement, and as you'd expect, they're the reaction GIFs you've frequently been seeing on online forums and social networks. Taking the number one spot with over 152 million views is the blinking man meme by Mashable. BB-8's thumbs up also did exceptionally well with over 88 million views, while Rihanna's dab of approval (shown above) now has over 14 million views.
Tom Smith, Giphy's director of product, explained:
"Behind this simple feature is a lot of complex engineering. We are counting several billions of views happening on Giphy, as well as those happening across the thousands of platforms powered by our API. Whether in messaging apps, social platforms, or sites across the whole internet, we power expression -- and all that is reflected in the GIF view count."