GIFs. Explained.

With the vast rise in mobile device usage, the use of GIFs - short moving images - has exploded in the past year. This has been largely helped by support from the major social networks and prominence through websites like Buzzfeed. Needless to say they've brought a whole lot of laughter to the internet. 

What are GIFs?

The GIF was originally introduced in 1987, as an efficient way to download colour images over the internet - whereas previously only black and white existed. It was one of the first image formats to be used on websites. A later version then introduced the ability to combine multiple image layers in one file - thereby allowing the creation of animations. This allowed it to become popular early on in the days of the internet, particularly as data speeds were unreliable and often slow.

The animation ability was later used as a way of highlighting and summarising particular elements of a video and rose to popularity on forums and messages boards. It became mainstream alongside the rise of mobile usage and is now a staple of internet culture.

They can be informative:

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Scary:

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Or, more often than not, hilarious:

At time of writing the social platforms that support GIFs are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and now Instagram. Instagram have actually launched an app called Boomerang specifically made to create GIFs. Facebook actually originally declined to include GIF support but bowed to the pressure from consumers when it was clear demand was very high. 

How do I create them?

It's extremely simple to create GIFs now. Here are a few services that are easy to use:

Make a Gif

imgur

Giphy

So give them a try - they can be a perfect way to get content to pop out of the page. GIFs are becoming embedded in internet usage nowadays. It seems that their the GIFs that keep on GIFing!