Graphic interchange format images — better known as GIFs — have become a more direct way to say exactly how you feel without using words.
There's been 4 billion unique search terms for various GIFs on Tenor's GIF keyboards for Android and iOS in the last year alone. Ninety percent of the words are linked to emotions.
"Human language started with pictures and moved to text," explained David McIntosh, CEO and co-founder of Tenor. "Now a lot of our communication is happening not in the form of letters and novels but in short texts, like LOL or WTF?"
Using texts means we have less time to explain what we feel, McIntosh explained. GIFs and other images can convey meaning without having to type long sentences.
"The beauty of GIFs is it gives you that wider set of vocabulary," he said.
When it comes to the GIF language of romance, there seems to be certain patterns. Tenor ran a search on romance terms for CNBC, and discovered specific phrases spiked during certain days of the week:
- On Mondays, there was a 51 percent increase in searches for a "kiss" GIF.
- Tuesdays saw a 55 percent increase in searches for "hug" GIFs.
- There was a 105 percent spike in searches for "flirty" GIFs on Wednesday.
- "Cuddle" GIFs were up 90 percent on Thursday.
- Searches for "Love" GIFs were up 58 percent on Friday.
- The weekends were for extracurricular activities. There was a 146 percent increase in "come over" GIFs on Saturday and a 56 percent increase in "sex" GIF searches on Sunday.