If you have ever wanted to include a YouTube video in an email (not Gmail – as it supports YouTube videos), you know that at this point in time, videos are next to impossible to email. That being said, there is a neat tool available to create animated gifs from YouTube videos which might suffice in some circumstances.
Now, your first reaction might be to think that this is kind of bass-akwards. Who goes looking to turn a great format like video into a .Gif anyway? Considering how much smaller a .Gif is in file size compared to a video, it makes sharing short sections of video via email a snap. Additionally, video .Gif files also have near-universal support and don't trigger spam filters the way a lot of flash-based video formats might.
Obviously, .Gif files will never replace videos for quality, but you might be surprised at how close they can come. As our friend Justin Foster points out in this article at Video-Commerce.org, the spread of broadband connections has made it possible to increase frame rates and enhance color palettes of animated gifs, making them function and appear like video.
And now, the tool I mentioned above - GifSoup. It is every bit as simple a concept as it appears to be. It's a site that lets you create animated .Gif files from YouTube videos. Simply add in the URL of the video and click "Create.”
The process completes quickly—though longer videos take longer to process—and when it's done your video .Gif appears on the page, ready for download (you can also crab code snippets for HTML display code or forum image display.
You can choose which section of the submitted video you want to turn into a .Gif—which is necessary because unfortunately, you can only choose a segment of ten seconds or less. Additionally, the resulting video gif will be branded with "gifSoup.com", but I chatted with the founder and he stated that they will offer additional options down the road for premium functionality. I would also recommend to them that they create a version that you have to click on first prior to having it animate as you will see below, perhaps with an video play button overlay/watermark.
We tested the service with one of our video interviews with Aaron Wall, and I would be remiss if I didn't include the result for your enjoyment. It almost looks like he's rapping for a second there, as he sways side to side.
Clearly, this would be much more effective for a video that didn't rely as much on spoken word or sound. For example
Anyway, the long term future of email marketing with video, is clearly still with video. But for businesses seeking to share a portion of a video with their audience via email marketing, this is an interesting stop-gap solution. Of course, there are plenty of users who shun animated gifs to begin with, so the net gain may be minimal.
It's still a pretty nifty little service, even if used only for inter-office entertainment.