April 10, 2017by Hollie Wegman ・ Office Hacks

Hack #45 — Tumblr’s GIF Hack

Envoy is all about making things easier and more fun in the office. In that spirit, we are proud to bring you our Envoy Office Hacks podcast series. Every week, we deliver the coolest, most ingenious, and just plain fun fixes people have invented to improve efficiency and productivity in their workplace.

Social media site TUMBLR’s cool offices sit on several floors of a building located in Manhattan’s Flatiron District.

The pièce de résistance is on the first floor: a multi-use event space.

Featuring stadium-style seating and a massive screen, TUMBLR holds many different types of classes for employees here. They also loan out the space to social activist groups and not-for-profits for fundraising events.

For these various events, and to entertain its employees, TUMBLR wanted to add a fun feature that reflects its super visual online platform. A GIF BOOTH was a natural choice. GIFs are widely used as a form of communication on TUMBLR.

The open-concept booth is tucked into a corner of the space. You sit on a ledge while staring into the camera. And you end up with images like these:

AND…TUMBLR’s Megan Leet was right. It is pronounced GIF with a soft G.

Debate closed!

Apparently, the creators of the GIF were riffing on a Jif peanut butter commercial when they came up with the name.

How to hack it

TUMBLR asked The Bosco, a photo booth company, to help them build out the permanent GIF BOOTH.

They cut a hole in the wall separating the space from a closet. This was covered with fogged plexiglass and a video display. Inside the closet, on a shelf, a Mac Mini is connected to the screen, the camera and the internet. On the Mac is Bosco’s app which controls the taking of photos. Once you enter your email, you sit across from the camera, take four photos. The resulting GIF is displayed, and emailed.