There's a GIF for That

The rise in popularity of short animated images.

By Brian Malina on April 17, 2013

In 2012, Oxford Dictionaries named GIF the Word of the Year. Animated GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) are a series of still images that give the impression of motion when displayed in sequence. In short, they are a digital flipbook. GIFs have evolved from simple entertainment and website decoration to a tool utilized by some of the biggest companies in the world to tell a story.

GIFs gained a massive online following thanks to Web developers featuring them on their sites or, more recently, when people wanted to capture and quickly share online a comical experience.

Torcida animada (Animated GIF)

With the growth of high speed wireless networks, GIFs are another way to demonstrate the value of video online and on mobile. Twitter recently launched Vine, a mobile service that lets users capture and share short bursts of video of six seconds or less, or homemade GIFs. Vimeo, a site for hosting online videos, also recently announced the acquisition of Echograph, a mobile app which allows users to make GIFs. And, even Google added this form of multimedia content as a permanent part of image search and allowed them to be used as profile pictures on their social media network Google+.

From blogs to social media networks, GIFs are solidifying their place in online history.

Photo Credit: Gilberto Santa Rosa, Flickr