"Simply put: GIFs are no longer about .GIFs -- the culture is way bigger than any specific file format," said Alan Schaaf, founder and CEO, Imgur. "With Project GIFV, we wanted to preserve the experience of the GIF while optimizing it for all the changes that have happened on the Internet since the format was first introduced in 1987."
The cornerstone of Project GIFV is a platform-wide upgrade to automatically convert uploaded GIF files on the fly into the MP4 video format. The converted MP4s are significantly smaller than their equivalent GIFs, which allows them to load at lightning-fast speeds with better quality. By lowering bandwidth consumption, the change also optimizes Imgur for users on mobile.
Beyond performance increases, the core experience will not change: Project GIFV implements MP4 video in a way that looks and behaves exactly like a GIF. Project GIFV also introduces three major upgrades to the GIF experience on Imgur:
- 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 -- compare
this 5MB GIF to
this converted 50MB one.
- 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.
"It's a little known fact, but the GIF format was never intended for animation in the first place," said Tim Hwang, Head of Special Initiatives, Imgur. "With Project GIFV, Imgur is reimagining the looping GIF video with all the richness it deserves as a key piece of internet culture."
tl;dr Imgur Project GIFV delivers a new and improved GIF experience that will work everywhere without a lag and will be higher quality -- this means more fun and less frustration.
Alan Schaaf founded Imgur in 2009 as a junior at Ohio University. The site immediately gained favor with users of social media sites and online communities due to its ease of use, frictionless uploading, and unlimited bandwidth restrictions.
Today, Imgur is a passionate community of more than 130 million monthly users who create, share, and consume tomorrow's viral content, today. More than 1.5 million images and GIFs are uploaded by users to the Imgur platform every day, where they are voted on, commented on, and distilled by the Imgurian community into a curated, continuously updated stream of the best visual content the web has to offer. More information and the best viral content on the web can be found at www.imgur.com.
Contact: Knock Twice for Imgur Kate Lehman Kate@knock2x.com (707) 364-1248