This is a guest post by Frank Nawabi, co-founder and head of business development at Tenor

Getting your point across in a mobile message can be frustrating. You have a thought or feeling stuck in your head. It’s a hassle to type everything out in that small text box. An emoji just doesn’t cut it.

This is why Tenor is focused on defining a new visual language that helps people better communicate in mobile messages using GIFs.

With more than 3 billion mobile users now sending more than 300 billion messages daily, messaging is fast becoming a primary means of communication not only with family and friends, but also with colleagues and businesses. As Layer scales its customer conversation platform, we at Tenor are thrilled to team up to make it easy for developers creating integrated messaging experiences to quickly add GIF-sharing capabilities.

Layer customers now have direct, integrated access to the Tenor GIF API—included in the Layer messaging toolkit for developers.

With just a few lines of code, Layer customers that are building out messaging to improve customer service, commerce, or community experiences now have the full power of the Tenor GIF API readily available. The Tenor GIF API:

  • Enables GIF searches and browsing by term, emoji, or conversation
  • Supports more than 30 languages and content-rating filters
  • Is specifically built to deliver GIFs that load fast and consume less bandwidth

Tenor already serves 200 million monthly active users who conduct more than 200 million mobile GIF searches daily. This vast dataset gives us unprecedented insight into how people express themselves in this new medium. More than 90% of Tenor searches center on emotion—think thumbs up, eyeroll, happy dance, hairflip, high five.

We’ve used this data to build the Tenor Emotional Graph, which maps the thoughts and feelings people want to convey in mobile messages to the GIFs that help them say it best. We see that users typically choose the GIF they’re going to send in 22 seconds or less, which reflects the quick back-and-forth nature of mobile messaging. Because the mapping engine can deliver just the right GIF quickly, it is well-suited for the customer conversation environment.

The addition of Tenor GIF-sharing to the Layer developer toolkit promises to make a broad range of messaging conversations even more effective by making it easy for people to express themselves visually.

For businesses seeking ways to better connect with their customers, it’s important to make conversations as easy and personal as we’ve all come to expect in our daily lives. GIFs are a really valuable asset in that context. Some of the topics businesses and consumers have to talk about are complex—and often emotional. GIFs help better express emotions ranging from excitement to anger to gratitude (and many more).

We’re excited to see how you’ll use Tenor GIF-sharing in your Layer-powered messaging experiences and would love to hear feedback from your team and your customers. You can catch me at frank@tenor.co .