The mobile app industry is notoriously competitive. In order to stand apart from competitors and build a base of repeat users, brands need, among other things, premium content and beautiful design. Crisp photographs, and high-quality videos are all essential in this process. And now there’s a new visual medium getting more and more attention from app designers—cinemagraphs.
In addition to their undeniable aesthetic allure, cinemagraphs are often less than 500KB in size, which means they are lightweight and optimized for a wide range of use in mobile apps. Below, we’ve outlined our four favorite ways to utilize cinemagraphs in your day-to-day app needs.
1) Make Your Login Page Luxurious
German direct bank N26 is a darling of European app users. Not only has the online bank simplified the banking process, they’ve also created an app that is sleek, intuitive, and a pleasure to use.
N26’s Captivating Login Page.
The most appealing aspect of N26’s app for me, however, is the login page where users are prompted to enter their username and password. At the moment, given the fact that it’s winter, all of the text and data fields are overlaid on top of a beautiful, pastoral cinemagraph of snow gently falling on a lake in the middle of a forest. In many ways, it’s similar to the hugely popular live wallpapers one can find on the Google Pixel 2. I usually hesitate to login for at least a couple of seconds so that I can enjoy the calming effect of the image. For a moment I even forget that I’m banking. It may sound cheesy, but of all the apps I have on my phone, I look forward to opening N26’s the most. All thanks to the design team’s smart decision to incorporate a cinemagraph into the layout of the app.
Find a picturesque nature cinemagraph for your app’s login page here.
2) Illuminate Your Landing Page
If you have an app for which you’re regularly creating content, then eventually you’ll need to (if you haven’t done so already) think of a way to organize that content on the landing page so that users can easily and intuitively access it. One very sensible interface option for landing pages is the modular layout, in which content is neatly divided into categories that are represented by thumbnails.
Take your app’s landing page to the next level with cinemagraphs!
An excellent example of this is the cooking app Kitchen Stories. The app’s wealth of recipes and cooking-related content is divided on the landing page into categories like “Satisfying Salads,” “Weeknight Favorites,” and “Get Inspired.” Each of these categories is accompanied by one or more thumbnails with high-quality images or video that plays automatically. Cinemagraphs—a hybrid of the two—would also be a wise choice for thumbnails, as they are lighter than video files and more eye-catching than static photos.
“Cinemagraphs came across my radar a few years ago,” says Ole Reckzeh, whose direction helped the company win an Apple Design Award in 2017. “I was always captivated by the way that they could make your mouth water and taste the deliciousness of food without even being anywhere near it. We’ve used cinemagraphs before with much success and I would definitely recommend using them again!”
3) An Exciting Alternative to Static Images
Apps that regularly publish articles and informative pieces, such as lifestyle or educational apps, also stand to benefit from using cinemagraphs.
According to a blog post published on Facebook’s Business Blog, the average human attention span is now approximately 8 seconds long. That’s pretty short. And it becomes especially problematic when trying to get mobile app users to engage with, retain, and possibly even return to written content that you or your employees spent precious hours working on. How, then, does one harness the fleeting attention of the average mobile app user? The answer: cinemagraphs!
As mentioned in one of our previous blog posts, cinemagraphs have been proven to increase website dwell times by 200%. And PepsiCo uncovered similar results in 2016 when they utilized cinemagraphs in a Facebook advertising campaign.
“The cinemagraph had a 75 percent increase in CTR and 51 percent increase in engagement vs. the static image. They generate just enough curiosity to stop thumbs in their tracks,” said Kelli McIntosh, senior marketing manager for digital customer solutions at Pepsi.
Increase app dwell times with living photos!
And several mobile app developers have already realized the alluring power of cinemagraphs. For example, Julie Campistron, CEO of the highly-acclaimed meditation app Stop, Breathe & Think licensed a handful of cinemagraphs from gallereplay.
“We used them as backgrounds for our meditation timer, to provide soothing, calming, beautiful images to illustrate the soundscape our users can select as background for their unguided meditation. We liked cinemagraphs because they are more interesting than stills, but also more unique and less distracting than traditional video. There is something magical about cinemagraphs with that one element only in motion that make them very meditative,” she said.
4) A Rich Push Notification is Worth a Thousand Words
Push notifications are a multi-purpose, indispensable aid to mobile app developers, and a great way to reach consumers directly and with immediacy. Have new content that you’d like to make your users aware of? Send a push notification. Is your business planning a major sale? Schedule a push notification. Need to rouse some inactive users? Enter push notifications.
In fact, Boston-based mobile marketing firm Localytics reported a 30% increase in user engagement when their clients used push notifications. But they didn’t use just any old push notifications—they used rich push notifications.
Cinemagraphs make rich push notifications even richer.
Rich push notifications are push notifications with a rich media attachment. They allow you to send not only a couple hundred characters of text, but also high-quality images, videos, maps, audio and—you guessed it—cinemagraphs!
“One great way to grab the attention of mobile app users is by sending rich push notifications,” says Kersten Broich, an iOS engineer at Spotify. “However, I’ve mostly seen companies using either static images or videos when doing so. I think that cinemagraphs will prove to be highly successful when used in rich push notifications. They’re simply too impressive and unique not to be.”
“I think that cinemagraphs will prove to be highly successful when used in rich push notifications. They’re simply too impressive and unique not to be.”
-Kersten Broich, Spotify iOS engineer
Given the above information, only one dilemma should remain: not whether cinemagraphs should be used in rich push notification campaigns, but which cinemagraphs should be used.
With thousands of cinemagraphs in our stock collection—ranging thematically from food and drink to nature, cities, fashion, tech, and more—we’re certain to have something to perfectly match the content of your app. And in the rare event that we don’t? Luckily for you we also specialize in custom creation.