Introduction of GIFs: Initial development and popularity.

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GIF stands for Graphic Interchange Format. While the world may debate over the pronunciation of the acronym, and whether you pronounce it ‘jif’ or ‘gif’ with a hard G sound, everyone can agree that they have taken over the world. Everyone uses them. They are part of every conversation nowadays. Nobody likes to not have a good compilation of lustige GIFs in their gallery for using in a chat. GIFs are so popular nowadays that almost all social media platforms have updated their interfaces and keyboards to support GIFs. 

Even independent mobile keyboard providers like Gboard have hopped onto the GIF bandwagon. This is because they all know that lustige gifs are the best spice for any normal chat. In fact, there are now entire websites like Giphy, Tenor, and Lustige gifs – gif lustig | PutPut which are based around GIFs and memes.

Initial Development

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The world got the GIF on 15th June 1987. A team which was led by Steve Wilhite, a computer scientist from America and was working for CompuServe, a provider for online services at the time, developed this remarkable form of media. The GIF has since never seen back. The GIF spread along with the spread of the internet. Wherever the world wide web went, the gif followed. And once the internet boom happened, and social media platforms sprung into existence, the usage of gifs just exploded.

Why are they so popular?

That fact that gifs are much more than just still images while being a lot less bulky than actual videos actually plays a huge role in their popularity. Another reason for their popularity is the fact that they are almost entirely platform independent. Almost all platforms support gifs nowadays, making them easily shareable. Lustige gifs are all the rage as they provide an opportunity for extremely fun banter among friends, family, and other peers alike. Like most memes, they are a great way of showcasing a reaction to something that is said to you.

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In today’s world, you know something is both popular and working when both Facebook and Google add support for it. Gifs are no exception. While google was obviously one of the first companies to add dedicated support for gifs through its mobile keyboard, Gboard, Facebook also added support for the image format in 2015. In 2018, Instagram followed suit and added gif stickers to its mix. 

In fact, just months after launching its sticker feature, WhatsApp introduced gif stickers too because every company knows gif stickers pack a lot more punch than just regular stickers. As we mentioned earlier, several websites have made an entire name for themselves by supporting gifs and memes like putput, imgur, giphy, and tenor.

History behind the GIF

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The GIF format was mainly developed by the team at CompuServe to be used as a format for colour images. Their entire format for encoding data was black and white prior to their development of the gif. It employed a technique known as LZW data compression which was way more effective than the other encoding techniques which were used back then. This raise in efficiency resulted in the capacity to download larger sized images at acceptable speeds even when the modem was slow.

There are certain palette limitations for the GIF. We won’t go into the technical parts but what these limitations do is they make the GIF format ideal for images which are simple by design like graphic templates or logos which have a good area of solid colour. However, they also make gifs less ideal for good reproductions of colour photographs or rather photos which have good colour gradients.

What this does mean is that gifs can do anything, whether you want to encode data, or you want to send some lustige gifs to your friends.

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Cameron James Connor
He has worked with various business magazines like Business Today Outlook as a freelancer before joining the team. She is an addicted reader of self-help books, fiction, and journals.

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