This social media platform is dedicated entirely to GIF-like animated stills

Photography-based social media platforms are nothing new, but one platform is taking a different approach, encouraging users to gain new followers in order to unlock free software in a game-like way. Plotagraph Inc., the company behind a software for animating still photos, launched a public beta of Plotagraph as a social platform on Thursday, June 1.

Plotagraph’s social platform is designed to help artists and photographers exhibit and share their work. Unlike a GIF, which is created from a video, Plotagraph creates partially animated photos by starting with only a single photo — the end result is similar, but the process is faster, developers claim. On the social platform, the animated still will auto-play and auto-loop across all devices, making it the first social platform dedicated exclusively to animated, GIF-like photos.

Users can share and exhibit their work, along with creating a portfolio and sharing Stories, which unlike other social platforms aren’t deleted after 24 hours. Stories are auto-edited, with an automatic fade effect placed between two animated photos. Animated images can also be shared to other social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, from the Plotagraph platform.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of Plotagraph is the game-like way users can access free software. All users will get a free version of the program, but the more followers a user gains, the more features they can unlock inside the program.

“We wanted to create a next-level social platform that goes beyond anything currently available with traditional social platforms, many of which were designed over 10 years ago,” Plotagraph founders Troy Christopher Plota and Sascha Scheider said in a press release.

Plotagraph was released in beta last year with the idea of turning the complex process of creating a GIF into a task that takes somewhere between five and 30 minutes and that doesn’t require video-shooting skills. Along with the free social element, the software offers different subscription plans, including a $20 a month pro membership with 1 TB of cloud storage, ten portfolios, and a number of advanced tools, with 4K resolution available in the $30 membership plan.