Imgur Updates GIF Format to Load Much Faster
Internet culture is dominated by GIFs — and they just got even better.
Photo-sharing site Imgur made a big improvement to the GIFs posted on its site by converting the files from the outdated .GIF format to a MP4 video format.
Imgur announced Project “GIFV” (GIF Video) on Thursday as a part of an effort to make the files load more quickly and perform better. While the conversion doesn’t change anything you love about GIFs — they look and operate in the same way in the new format — they’re a lot more efficient.
“The cornerstone of Project GIFV is a platform-wide upgrade to automatically convert uploaded GIF files on the fly into the MP4 video format,” Imgur wrote in a news release. “The converted MP4s are significantly smaller than their equivalent GIFs, which allows them to load at lightning-fast speeds with better quality.”
The GIF embedded above, which Imgur uses as an example, is 50 MB in .GIF format. As a GIFV file, however, it’s only 3.4 MB and “loads at warp speed.” That’s a huge improvement, and one Imgur says will lower bandwidth consumption and optimize Imgur for mobile devices.
You can embed the new .GIFV files anywhere that you were using .GIF files; plus, they can be longer and better quality while taking up far less space.
This concept is far from new, however. Gyfycat.com offers MP4-based GIFs, but Imgur is the most popular image-sharing service to adopt video GIFs in a widespread way.
BONUS: GIF vs. JIF
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.