According to Facebook, a whopping more than 22 million GIFs are constantly created and shared daily. On Twitter, one can always share these files up to 15MB (previously only a size of 5MB was able) with additional latest news suggesting that even Whatsapp is wasting no time in getting onboard in collaborating with the app GIPHY.
No doubt, the GIF is the revered King of the Internet!
One whose coronation is far from the typical silver spoon tale.
The GIF format, acronym Graphics Interchange Format, was created in June 1987 by Steve Wilhite. Although its early years reveled in countless success, the abuse (the rise towards gaud and tacky) and arrival of Flash had thrust the prodigal work into exile. However, in latter years to come with significant growth and change in Internet consummation, the GIF format had revived exponentially to even become one of the biggest players in the digital world.
Easy View, Easy Play, Easy Share.
One of the factors that propelled its initial success was its lightweight interactive format, enabling easy play in almost all web browsers. Even with the advantageous age of today; How we consume the Internet is just as, if not more, important. Information overload today recedes in concession (nor the will) to dedicate much time on one particular thing. Instead, we prefer shortcuts to simplify our senses and focus to many things at once. The GIF in particular provides guaranteed satisfaction towards that necessity, and in a matter of seconds presents us a quick and entertaining blurb. Even if the format is not of a decent quality (though therein exist examples of otherwise) and has no audio, the instantaneous playback and loop requires no interaction by users in consummation.
Moreover, it is a format that is affordable for all, with multiple provided tools to allow one to make a GIF or even recreate one following a video from scratch.
Greatest Power: Emote
To me, this is the key. It is a format that innately establishes an emotional connection with the user. In truth, to many it is the only unique medium that reaches such a union, more effectively than a video arguably would.
For Abigail Posner, Head of Strategic Planning in Google, GIFs, like memes, ¨allows us to reconnect with the essential parts of ourselves.¨
For Gizmodo, a good GIF, ¨captures sufficiently to illustrate an emotion yet leaving enough to generate curiosity. It is a good mix of fun and wonder.¨
It Ain´t Just About the Humor.
Yes, not all GIF´s are about stumbles, funny cats or unusual reactions. GIFs also possess the key element of Marketing, with the inclusion of Art.
The Marketing world is undoubtedly familiar with this groundbreaking format. GIF additionally bears effectiveness to reflect the spirit of a brand or company; including product placements, explaining a process in various steps, conveyance of stories, advertisements and even displaying data in animated form.
Beyond the world of marketing, GIF is a polished entity from an artistic point of view. If you´d like to search for some good examples, there are many to explore at Giphoscope International Art GIF. The following GIF by Micaël Reynaud won the award for best GIF 2014.
No. Say It Like This..
On a ´surprising´ end note..
If you are one of those who have been pronouncing GIF as ´guif´, be aware you are in the wrong crowd. From the creator himself, Steve Wilhite, who left no room for argument when receiving the prize in the Webby Award:
AWAITING YOUR COMMENTS!