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Microsoft Outlook update bring support to Animated GIF and other features

If email clients were the kids in a playground and an HTML email was the most popular toy being distributed, Apple brothers (Apple Mail & iOS Mail) would be playing with a shiny new email and Microsoft Outlook would be the kid that would be standing in the corner with a broken email held together with duct tape. Outlook is the most widely used email client in the B2b customers owing to the plain text support but a nightmare for HTML email as the rendering engine breaks almost all unique email layouts. Outlook’s incompatibility to most HTML innovations is the one of the main reasons why emails are still coded using the <table> layout.

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Amidst all the flak that Outlook keeps on receiving, a ray of hope came forth in form of an announcement from Microsoft Office Insider team about the latest update bringing in support for animated GIF in Outlook desktop.

Yes, that’s right! In the insider version Version 1901 (Build 11231.20080) brings a plethora of user experiences such as support @mentions in comments, Search keyword suggestions, accessibility support and (most importantly) support for animated GIFs to render in most Outlook versions starting from Outlook 2010.

What is ironical is that Outlook allowed inserting animated GIF and the new update supports ‘displaying’ the entire animation instead of just the first frame.

Email Uplers tested the new update and found it working on Outlook 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Office 365.

What this means for marketers

B2b marketers shall be greatly benefited by this update since they can now feature small instructional GIF to demonstrate a concept or how to use their products for their subscribers.

Now no more seeing a blank first frame when opening the email.

No need for the subscribers to view the email online to just see the GIF in action.

And most importantly, this is a positive step towards making Microsoft Office supporting different rich medias in emails.

Current Scenario

Microsoft is currently pushing this update for different Microsoft Office version and may take time to be available for every subscribers in your email list. So till then either implement appropriate fallback or avoid it for Outlook.

Email Samples

  1. Our 2017 Thanksgiving GIF working on Outlook 365 in Windows 10

2. One of the emailgeeks shared this preview in #emailgeeks slack channel.

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Kevin is the Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing email design and coding companies. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage, share insights with fellow marketers, and enjoys sharing his thoughts on the latest email marketing best practices.

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