The world of visual communication is strange, but increasingly important. On this trend of the week we pop in to hear the latest news from Gyftcat, PicsArt a...

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This week we’re popping in to see the latest in the wild world of visual communication. For the past few years, marketers have been coming to grips with the new need for literacy in selfies, emojis, gifs, and oh so much more.

One of the first headline items this week was a monster $ten million dollar seed round for Jiffycat. On the surface, Jiffycat is another site where users can find the latest and greatest gif memes. Underneath, however, is a powerful technology engine that solves many of the loading issues with gifs. That engine also gives users and advertisers alike a larger creative canvas with which to create short form moving picture content.

And that, according to founder Richard Rabbat, is the point. Short form content is here to stay, and becoming an ever more important part of the cultural landscape and advertising toolkit. Jiffycat is all about helping marketers take advantage. Still a young platform, the site is already an Alexa top one hundred web property with users viewing and sharing more than 1.5 billion Gifs per month.

Another growing platform in the visual communication space is PicsArt, who also made some major announcements this week. The company has launched a new suite of photo and video editing tools and filters that share similarities with the Prisma app which exploded earlier this year. One of the major differences is that the company processes the filters on your phone, rather than in the cloud, making it a generally faster, more fluid experience. These sort of interesting tools for self-expression give advertisers an ever-expanding creative canvas. Those advertisers also might be interested in the company’s 80 million members..

Never one to be left behind innovative startups, Facebook also continues to innovate how it lets users express themselves visually. This week, that comes in the form of a new “profile expression kit” rolling out to developers. When the company first rolled out the kit, it did so with just six partners including Vine, Boomerang, and Flixel. Now, any developers can apply for access to the kit so that their gifs or movies or anything else can be an option for people’s facebook profile photos.

Brands are finding interesting ways to get involved with visual communication as well. In the case of Michael Kors, that involvement goes waaay beyond an app. In partnership with FujiFilm, the designer brand is releasing a blinged out gold instamax instant camera. Sure, this may be a little more boutique vanity project than scalable strategy, but it shows the centrality of the camera to our personal expression.

Finally, in case you thought that selfie sticks couldn’t get any more ridiculous...well, you haven’t met Joby. The company’s action Jib kit actually gives users the creative capability to do long, sweeping shots of the type you might see in TV or movies. Or...you know...take a REALLY wide angle selfie.

On any given week, there could be a half dozen more stories about technology in the visual communication space.  This is testament to just how important pictures and moving pictures are to how we work and talk today.