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GIFs Regaining Popularity

Created: 14 Feb 2013 • Updated: 03 Jun 2014 • 1 comment
Reshma Kumar's picture
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Much like fashion, what's old is new again in tech. The NYTimes had an interesting article on the resurging popularity of GIFs. There has been a fair amount of chatter on the subject of GIFs in the last few months signalling it's renewed trendiness.

GIF was the Oxford Dictionary's word of the year in 2012, and it has apparently also established its historic place in the Museum of the Moving Image.

GIFs or Graphics Interchange Format go way back to the Web 1.0 days and are a relic in Internet years. At the time, GIFs were popular because they were lightweight compared to JPGs, they supported transparency, and they could be animated. Well, none of that changed but competition did come in the Web 2.0 era for GIFs in the form of PNGs (Portable Network Graphics) which do all of the above and more including compressing better.

So, why the resurgence of GIFs? Well, probably for a number of reasons. GIFs are easy and portable and lightweight. They also make things interesting as they provide that rich media animation experience like video without the hassle of compatibility on operating systems or the clunkiness of playing on a mobile platform.

According to the NY Times article, media and TV, and the app world are also driving the re-invigoration of GIFs. Read the article here Fresh From the Internet’s Attic.

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Rich Lam's picture

The iphone5s, Instagram and vine are now imitating this type of animation style or slow motion video.

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