Animated GIF support within Microsoft Outlook has long been the black spot for email marketers. Here at Playable, it has left us consistently reaching 95% of our clients email audiences with a video email experience, with the remaining 5% being legacy Outlook clients, whom we have been unable to reach with our streaming video, until now…. 

The good news is that from today we can reach 98% of all our email audiences with video email, as Microsoft has announced that Outlook has received an update to enable animated GIFs for Office 365 users.

Matthew McFadden, PM at Microsoft commented: Outlook is committed to creating experiences that delight our customers and the new support for GIFs in Outlook for Windows fits perfectly with this goal. Outlook is the one place people go to stay connected to people and businesses. Now marketers can be confident that their email campaigns can carry on conversations with animation all the way through to their targeted audiences. 

What are the specifics of the update?

Although Microsoft’s announcement focused on animated GIF usage in personal emails, this update is equally applicable to email marketers. 

The update has been applied to the Playable Video Email platform enabling all Playable clients to now reach 98% of their email audiences with an autoplay video email experience.

Specific details of the update are:

  • GIF support will be for Office 365 subscribers using the desktop Outlook client.
  • Animated GIFs are already supported in Outlook’s mobile apps as well as the webmail client. Outlook 2019, however, is not supporting animated GIFs.
  • Support will roll out to Office Insider subscribers first, starting in early February.
  • GIFs will automatically play. Looping GIFs will play three times, after which they will pause (but can be played again manually by users).
  • There are no file size limitations for animated GIFs.
  • Animations will be enabled by default but can be turned off in Outlook settings.