Twitter GIFs: Not Actually GIFs but, Better than GIFs

 In General, Social Media, Twitter

GIFs have taken the internet by storm. Check out either Mashable or Buzzfeed and you’re guaranteed to see at least one article that features these moving pictures. They’ve become so popular that Buzzfeed decided to dedicate an entire feed to GIFs. So, when Twitter announced that they would finally support animated GIFs a few weeks ago there wasn’t too much commotion. Most social media platforms support GIFs, so what’s the big deal? Well, we forgot to mention one thing: TWITTER DOESN’T ACTUALLY USE GIFS! It’s appalling to think that a social media platform that I’ve supported since 2013 has betrayed me over something as trivial as the GIF. Instead of combining image files into a series of moving images, like any real GIF would, Twitter’s version is basically a video. Past all of the fake angst about Twitter GIFs it looks like these new GIF forms are a substantial improvement to the old file type. GIFs: A Brief History First introduced in 1987 as a short animation type (think flipbook) that picked up world wide support just a few years later. And that’s the history of the GIF. It hasn’t changed since 1989. In that time the Berlin Wall fell, the Cold War ended, NSYNC existed, Friends was the most watched show on television, the iPod came out, we went to war on two separate occasions, elected the first black president and the GIF is still the same. It’s a relic of a different time, a different era and was in need of a serious update. This is Called Compression Twitter GIFs are to GIFs what HDTV was to TV. Because Twitter’s GIFs aren’t actually GIFs (they’re MP4’s), Twitter can improve the download quality of GIFs (making them smoother), improve color quality and decrease the overall size of the GIF file. Which is great for consumers and businesses alike. But, Twitter isn’t just being a Good Samaritan here. Due to the smaller file size, Twitter can save plenty of money by paying lower bandwidth bills. Smaller file sizes will also load more quickly on your personal computer, tablet or smartphone. That means when Twitter saves money, you save time. Feel free to check out Twitter’s new GIFs from your personal Twitter account. Tweet some GIFs at us and let us know what you think! @FatGuyMedia

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