What is a GIF and why are people using them?

What is a GIF? - The Measured Marketer

What is a GIF and why are people using them?

What is a GIF?

If you spend any real time on the internet you have definitely experienced them even if you aren’t 100% sure what they were called. They have become a communication tool in the same way emoji have been added to language over recent years.

Basically, it is a file format just like .jpg or .png and is most commonly used to display short moving images.

For those of you that want more information, Wikipedia states: “The Graphics Interchange Format (better known by its acronym GIF /ˈdʒɪf/ JIF or /ˈɡɪf/ GHIF) is a bitmap image format that was developed by US-based software writer Steve Wilhite while working at the bulletin board service (BBS) provider CompuServe on June 15, 1987[1] and has since come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its wide support and portability.”

Why do people use GIFs?

There is a growing tendency of internet users to use a GIF to convey a message. If a picture is worth a thousand words, surely a short video is worth a million? GIF culture ties into popular culture. These GIFs are often a short grab from a popular film or TV Show.

After a late-night group chat with some of the TMM office peeps, one of the team the following day remarked: “how do you find them funny video thingys so damn quick?”

There are a couple of ways to quickly find suitable (or even unsuitable) GIFs and it is only getting easier with most platforms starting to add a GIF search function within, such as Facebook Messenger or event Apple iMessenger. There are also a couple of great GIF search applications out there such as GIPHLY that can help to convert that searched GIF into the appropriate format or dimensions.

The hard part of effective and quick GIF usage then becomes your ability think of the best keywords and select a winner.

Do you have a favourite GIF?

Anchorman Jumping with team of news reporters
Jump for joy using GIFs