A picture is worth a thousand words. The Internet has internalized this saying. Instead of words, GIFs and memes are often used to express a feeling. Andy Kassier helps out with a series of GIFs that get up to 250 million views in the online database and search engine Giphy.
In the mid-1990s, GIFs brought movement to otherwise static websites. GIFs 1.0, the “cave drawings of the web” (Tilman Baumgärtel) were little cartoon-like animations that consisted of a few pixels. When GIFs experienced a renaissance in the late 2000s, shared on web forums like Reddit and 4Chan and social media like Twitter and Facebook, they were looped screen grabs from movies, series and amateur videos. Like memes, GIFs had no owners, they were created by users for users, their creators are mostly nameless.
Kassier joins the crowd of anonymous creators and makes himself a “model for shaky images on the Internet” (Spiegel) when he provides GIFs with the aim of viral distribution. He lets money rain, claps, drinks coffee, casually puts on sunglasses and sticks a rose between his teeth. Kim Kardashian and Andy Kassier are in the top ten of the most popular “Money GIFs”, and on Tinder he often uses roses to convey love messages.
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