The NFL Relax Their Social Media Rules Following New Deal with Giphy... Coincidence?

...I think NOT! I've always wanted to do that. A few months ago, the NFL endured a bit of backlash over changes to their social media rules which effectively prohibited teams from posting any in-game footage or GIFs. While no teams voiced anything close to outrage, some of them did post GIFs which openly mocked the new regulations, which certainly tells you a little bit about what they thought of them.

Yahoo finance managed to acquire a memo from NFL executives to all the teams about changes to the rules, which will come into effect this week. To sum up, teams can now post any 'non-highlight' footage during games (basically anything which doesn't directly involve play), they can also create their own GIFs under the same restrictions, but most importantly, they can now post up to 5 'snaps' of in-game footage to Snapchat.

Interestingly, this makes Snapchat the only place to get live in-game content from team channels. Even more interestingly, this comes in parallel with an agreement with Giphy which would see it becoming the go-to source of NFL GIFs. These wouldn't be in game GIFs, mind, the memo describes it as "high quality and authentic NFL GIFs of ancillary game and historical/iconic content”

Now, this doesn't directly link to the rule changes in any way that I can see, but it's a further indication of backtracking on the NFL's part. They clearly put the original rules in place with a far more limited understanding of the potential of both GIFs and Snapchat promotion, even if it was only 7 weeks ago.

Even with these changes, it still leaves teams with pretty limited options, and as far as GIFs are concerned, the NFL official pages can only do so much. There's a lot more potential for social media promotion that the NFL aren't tapping into, and if they keep feeling around, redrafting regulations and trying to find the most refined approach, they'll end up behind the curve.

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