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article imageTwitter now supports GIFs, but they are not real GIFs

By Milton Este     Jun 23, 2014 in Technology
The GIF, a popular animated image format in the 80s, persevered and found a new place on the Internet. Where is this new place? Chances are you are using it now.
Twitter gave its users GIF support allowing the upload and sharing of animated images that repeat in an infinite loop. However, most quickly realized that the newly upload GIF files aren't really GIFs at all.
During the upload process, Twitter is actually converting it and making it into an MP4 video file. Users are actually seeing the embedded video played back over and over again.
This was done for the purpose of "size and control" as Sean of embed.ly puts it. The GIF is an ancient file format by today's technology standards.
It is a series of images changing one after another. This contributes to a bigger overall file size and will slow down mobile devices if several GIFs were placed on one page.
By converting the GIFs to the MP4 video format, the size is significantly reduced. This allows smoother usage amongst mobile users.
Sean of embed.ly says that this conversion can reduce the size of the file format by five times when comparing a GIF to its after conversion MP4 video format.
More about Twitter, GIFS, Animation, Picture, Social media
 
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