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Hulu is trying to hijack GIF culture to drum up new subscribers

Hulu is trying to hijack GIF culture to drum up new subscribers

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Hulu has launched a new website for sharing GIFs from its TV shows. The Tumblr-hosted site The Perfect GIF contains more than 1,400 animated snippets created by Hulu's staff, with the GIFs sorted by different actions, reactions, and shows. There are easy sharing and reblogging buttons on hand, with Hulu apparently trying to capitalize on the revival of the format by giving internet users an easily browsable catalog of GIFs, quietly reminding them that if they like these shows, they can always buy a Hulu subscription.

all the gifs are branded with the show and network's logos

As a marketing stunt, The Perfect GIF has been pretty neatly implemented, but there are a few corporate touches that will be off-putting for some internet users. For a start, the GIFs are all branded with a Hulu hashtag in the bottom right corner, and the individual show's logo and network in the left. This makes sense if, like Hulu, you want to advertise a GIF's provenance, but it looks out of place among the fan-created memes on Tumblr and Twitter.

Similarly, the social buttons for Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest underneath each GIF are accompanied by a disclaimer warning users: "By clicking any of the below, you agree to [Hulu's] Terms of Use and Privacy Policy." These terms and conditions are all boiler plate stuff — protecting copyrights and trademarks, etc — but they're an unwelcome reminder that this is not a fan-driven project. This is also evident from the choppy frame-rate on a lot of the GIFs — fans would presumably know better. #Awkward.