Charlie Chaplin 2.0: how a mobile app taught teens the lost art of silent cinema

charlie chaplin

GIFs have a long and storied history, from their humble beginnings as garish decorations on dot-com domains, to their more recent revival as artful advertisement and meme making tool of choice. But by and large GIFs born on the web are random, made from current events like political speeches or sporting event, tidbits of regular videos that were clipped, looped and highlighted. They were the best way to immortalize what flowed by every day, not a medium for creating something new.

Cinemagram, a mobile app where users create and share GIFs, has produced a very different model. The app has the same basic structure as Instagram: shoot GIFs, share them with your friends, like and reshare the ones you enjoy most. But unlike classic GIFs, the…

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