There has been a substantial growth in popularity with GIFs over the last year or so that has caused a flood of short animated images on the web (I’m sure you’ve noticed). Despite the GIF being created 25 years ago by Steve Wilhite, the name GIF is still causing a debate about the correct pronunciation of the Graphics Interchange Format. Wilhite, the creator of this incredibly popular format, says that it is pronounced “jif”, like the peanut butter, others say it with a hard G sound. I myself use the hard G sound, but call it what you want to, it’s definitely a increasing trend of 2014.
Why Are GIFs So Popular?
The length and simplicity of GIFs play a big part in why these animated images are so popular. People are quickly moved by visual content, so the GIF format adds something special to the boring jpg or png files that you see on social media sites. A mini video, with no sound, that can be watched from start to finish in as little as one or two seconds in a simple, auto-looping fashion is definitely appealing to the masses. Videos on Youtube or Vimeo tend to be 2 to 3 minutes at the least. GIFs offer a more convenient, faster and silent way to express something. GIFs are also helpful in solidifying a point, celebrating good news, and turning news events into short, humorous moments. The perfect combination between images and video is what really gives this format its popularity.
What Is the Future of GIFs?
Although this may seem a little quirky, the GIF is here to stay. Social media sites like Google+ and Tumblr lead the pack when it comes to the amount of GIFs that are shared. Other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have yet to incorporate the ability to share GIFs into their news feeds. Sites like Buzzfeed have been using GIFs for a while, helping to enrich the users’ experience, drive more traffic and create more interest.
In short the animated GIFs we see all over the internet bring a certain type of satisfaction and enjoyment when coming across one that makes you laugh, become surprised, or learn something new in only a split second. Expect to see a lot more of these, as people are finding more unique ways of incorporating GIFs into their blogs, websites and social media pages.
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