If there’s one thing gamers love more than gaming, it’s bragging to their friends how great they are at pwning all of the things online. And unless you’re throwing LAN parties every week, the only way to flex your Fortnite or League of Legends prowess is to put together a montage of some gameplay. That’s where Gfycat (pronounced “Jiffy Cat”) comes in, a website for posting short, silent, and looping video clips. Think of it like a silent version of YouTube.
On Wednesday, the company will begin the rollout of its new section: “Gfycat for Gaming.” This new site vertical will make it simpler for gamers to browse through an endless treasure trove of video game memes and replays.
Founded in 2013, this GIF-sharing platform has amassed an audience of 180 million active users every month, many of which create and watch video game content. But don’t freak out long-time Gfycat users, Gyfcat for Gaming won’t be drastically changing the site.
The navigation bar at the top of the page will be slightly different, you’ll notice a “Gaming” tag next to the Gfycat logo. This menu will give visitors access to multiple subcategories divided by game title. Now, instead of searching for a game by scrolling through a ton of content, that specific game’s most popular GIFs will be right there at the top of each menu.
The esports industry has ballooned in popularity recently; according to the 2018 Global Esports Market Report, it’s expected to grow to a total of $906 million market valuation by the end of the year. Gfycat is poising itself to be both a haven for video game entertainment and a valuable resource for gaming studios.
Technologically speaking, Gfycat has also been upping its game as of late. In December of 2017, the company began using facial recognition to host higher quality GIFs and learn more about its users. This technology enabled the website to identify certain video game characters and see if they are popular among Gfycat visitors. Insights into which aspects of a game appeal to users is just the kind of thing a video game company needs when they’re planning an update or a new release.
While game streaming is still dominated by Twitch, Gfycat is positioning itself to be that website your friend links to after they say, “Dude, check out this insane play.”