Gfycat, the leading user-generated GIF platform, today announced the “1st Annual Gfycat GIF Wars” to celebrate its 2.5 million creators across 160 countries. The contest, which gives six grand-prize winners a trip to Las Vegas, aims to highlight how creators are the true drivers of Internet culture. 

Gfycat’s creators rely on its editing software and sharing tools to create highly-engaging content, thus entertaining Gfycat’s 180 million monthly visitors. Several big-name channels from different sectors, including gaming, food, and science, have partnered with Gfycat to successfully drive their marketing operations. To celebrate them — along with the world’s unidentified creators — Gfycat also recently launched the “Creator Spotlight Series.” These milestones and initiatives manifest true progress in Gfycat’s mission — to cultivate content creation by the people, for the people.

More than any other segment, Gfycat’s gaming creators drive the incredible volume of content uploaded to the platform. 78% of Gfycat’s creators identify as gamers, whether or not they primarily upload gaming content, so Gfycat has made particular effort to highlight them with new products for gaming creators.

Gfycat’s 2.5 million creators have produced 40+ million GIFs to date, reaching the platform’s 180 million monthly viewers. Although Gfycat is a U.S. based website, its creators hail from cities around the world. In fact, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Russia are among the 10 countries with the most GIF creators — showing the international reach of the platform.

Several influential creators from various sectors have joined Gfycat as channel partners. Famous gamer @amustycow gained a serious following after using Gfycat to share high-quality gaming GIFs. @sooperdave, an animator who went viral for giving inanimate objects a face and character, was an early adopter of Gfycat. Considering it the perfect way to convey his unique sense of humor, he still uses the platform as a gallery for his work today. Even @KNSfarm, a goat farm in Madison, Texas, exponentially increased their audience engagement when they started distributing GIFs on their social media channels — they accumulated over 10 million views on Gfycat and have become the number one creator of goat GIFs on the Internet.

Gfycat launched the “Creator Spotlight Series” to celebrate these creators. The series  interviews influential short-form content creators to highlight how they deliver immersive, visual experiences. Matthew Vandeputte, a timelapse photographer, says GIFs are the best vehicles for sharing his art with the world.

“I use Gfycat to extract the most visually appealing shots of my timelapse photography. I tried out ‘GIF Brewery’ [for creating GIF reactions] and literally, within 30 seconds, I could transform a bit of video that I’d shot into a GIF. High-quality, customizable, with custom frame rate and everything. And I’ve since then forwarded to so many people to use that as a GIF creation tool for their video content,” said Vandeputte.

Gfycat’s launch of the “GIF Wars” contest is the company’s way of honoring internet culture creators. The contest invites GIF artists to submit original GIFs in multiple categories — including Best Reaction GIF, Best Celebrity GIF, and Best Video Game GIF. Determined by a combination of a popularity and judges’ vote, the first place winner in each category receives a trip to Las Vegas to meet other GIF creators. There will also be three additional Judges’ Prize winners, from any category, who will receive a trip to Vegas as well.

Gfycat hopes that the “Best Video Game GIF” category will encourage its enormous gamer base to enter their best work into the contest, says Gfycat board director Ernestine Fu. “We’re excited to see what all our creators, especially our gaming creators, come up with.”

“We’re honored so many creators have chosen Gfycat as their preferred platform for creating, discovering, and sharing GIFs. As Gfycat becomes the entertainment destination site for short-form looping content, we’re committed to supporting our creators and users’ interests first and foremost,” said Richard Rabbat, CEO of Gfycat.

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