June 30th, 2014
Gif in the game: Portland’s YIX makes sharing animated gifs a bit more competitive
Sharing animated gifs is an Internet mainstay. It’s practically why the Internet was created, it seems. And the growing prevalence of chat clients has only caused that use to increase. Just as common is the anecdotal oneupmanship that has always been an unspoken component practice. Now, a new Portland startup is jumping headlong into that aspect of the game. Literally.
Meet YIX, a new iOS game that pits folks against one another to see who can find the most relevant and awesome gifs in sort of rap battle of gif dominance. I was trying to think of a better way to describe it but the best I could do was calling it “a mishmash of gifs and Cards Against Humanity.”
Long story short, I think YIX seems very promising. Despite my crappy analogies.
YIX enters the market as the first game that uses GIFs as part of game play. The creation and consumption of GIFs has risen to new highs and people are using them as forms of communication and entertainment. Furthermore, the deep archive of GIF content, along with the ease of producing new content, gives brands rich opportunities to align relevant brand content with the themes and topics used in YIX play. YIX delivers a new way to play and self-express using game provided entertaining GIFs while also giving the user the opportunity to upload custom GIFs or play GIFs from their stored favorites. Amidst the variety of places to search for or create GIFs, there weren’t any games using GIFs as a core component until YIX.
The cofounders of Yix have been part of the Web and startup scene in Portland and Seattle for quite some time. Portland folks are most likely to recognize Jenny Diggles, most recently of Lytics, and Benjamin Diggles, formerly of Cozy, Webtrends, and db clay.
And if you know the Diggles, you know that the experience is ridiculously well designed.
“We built YIX as a labor of love and fun because we saw the impact of multiplayer mobile gaming among friends and social connections,” said Jenny Diggles, Co-Founder and company President. “As our usage grew, so did our vision to make it a fun, engaging and increasingly rewarding experience for players and the brands who wish to reach them. Our company goal is to raise the happiness of the planet.”
The app is currently available on iOS, but the team has plans to bring it to other platforms. It also features a “Party Play” option that allows for live game playing.