Animated GIFs are ancient, every time we stumble upon them we are reminded of the early days of the internet, they were the “in” thing then. Now, the new generation of internet users are annoyed with animated GIFs because they are cumbersome, they take forever to load especiall on pages where there are a lot of them. But GIFs are here to stay and hopefully they’d be back to the mainstream again, thanks to Imgur and its Project GIFV which gives the GIF an upgrade. What kind of upgrade? Well, for starters, the upgrade will give the animated GIF a new kind of richness. yes, the new animated GIF that you can see now in Imgur will blow you away. If in the past GIF animation makers sacrifice the image quality for loading time, now it won’t be a worry, you can now have very high quality animations that loads fast. Here is an example, straight from Imgur:
Are you impressed with the quality of the picture? And are you surprised with the speed with which it loaded? How is this made possible? Well, with Project GIFV the GIFs that Imgur users will upload are automatically converted into MP4 video format. The converted file becomes significantly smaller in size than the original file uploaded without sacrificing the image quality. The animation above was 50MB when uploaded, after it was converted upon upload its size was reduced to 3.4MB, hence the quick loading.
Here are major upgrades that Imgur given to the GIF experience of its users as stated on the Imgur blog:
Massively Increased Upload Limits: With the efficiencies introduced by MP4, Imgur is increasing its traditional GIF upload limit of 5MB by an order of magnitude to 50MB. This opens the door to massive improvements in quality. (Note: Original files over 20MB will not be available after upload)
Optimized for Social Channels: Uploads to Imgur will now fully animate on channels like Twitter and Facebook, allowing for the sharing of the full GIF experience throughout the social web.
The .GIFV Extension: With all these improvements, Imgur will now denote converted MP4s with a “.gifv” extension. The intention is to signal to users throughout the Internet that these links will feature a GIF experience that incorporates all the current and future enhancements made through Project GIFV. Imgur plans to submit an accompanying specification to relevant standards organizations before the end of the year.
And to all those who love social media, yes, this will now work of Facebook and Twitter. Try it!