The humble gif, or Graphics Interchange Format has come a long way from where it first started out.
It is a bitmap image format that was developed by US-based software writer Steve Wilhite, whilst working at the internet service provider CompuServe in 1987. Thanks to both the wide support it received and it’s portability, it came into wide use online.
GIFs are compressed using the Lempel-Ziv-Welch (LZW) a lossless data compression technique to reduce the file size without degrading the visual quality.
This compression technique was patented in 1985 but by 2004 all the relevant patents had expired.
An animated GIF is an image encoded in graphics interchange format (GIF), which contains a number of images or frames in a single file and is described by its own graphic control extension.
The frames are presented in a specific order in order to convey animation.
GIFs can loop endlessly or stop after a few sequences and then stop the animation.
An animated GIF is also known as a GIF89a. Animated GIFs are a quick-and-easy way to present dynamic content, especially in Web pages and on social media. The file size is small compared to other options available for creating dynamic content like Java and Flash. In this way they can be downloaded by the browser easily. This in turn allows for a faster browsing experience.
Giphy (stylized as GIPHY) is an online database and search engine that allows users to search for and share animated GIF files. It was founded by Alex Chung and Jace Cooke in February 2013. It also has a Gif creator for making your very own gifs which is extremely simple to use.