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GIFsare all over the place, they are everywhere and there’s no stoppingtheir spread. Although the huge photo sharing service Imgur thinksthey can be made better and brought forward into the modern age."Let's get real, the .GIF format is old looking and is notreally that great for the modern web anymore. " according toImgur founder Alan Schaaf. "It was created in 1989, and itwasn't even created for the objective of animation. The thing we aretrying to achive is to keep this same experience preserved but allowthe technology around it to become greater improved."


Withthis purpose the company is revealing a brand new method of managingthese GIFs. Any GIF files uploaded to Imgur are now converted in anautomatic way to MP4 video, compressed, and then displayed just as astandard GIF would be. Nevertheless, the conversion to MP4 means thatGIFs can now be greatly larger and better quality, and the resultingfiles are still tinier than your average GIF. "What we found inour testing is that we're able to decrease the size of these files byabout 10 times," says Schaaf. Imgur offered us a few examples.The GIF file that is standard displays in a smaller way, whereas theGIF that is converted to MP4 is much much larger, even though thefile is still in a small size.

Imgur is able to increase thefile size limit of GIFS from 5MB to about 50MB all thanks to thisprocess of conversion. This lets users create larger and moredifficult GIFs. Another upside of the MP4 format is that the GIF willauto play at full speed even as it is loading. What this means isthat the GIFs that you are used to where they become fuzzy as itloads will be history.

Also Imgur was required to create itsown file container to work with its new layout format and they arecalling this GIFV. This will importantly let the MP4 video GIF playback as a normal GIF would. There's no play, pause, or rewindcontrols like you'd see in a typical MP4 video container; it worksjust as a normal GIF does and . Files of GIFV should be able to beimplanted anywhere on the net just as the normal GIFS are.

Insummary, this seems like a pretty good upgrade for Imgur, alsomanaging GIFs on cell phones should become much simpler due to thenew lower bandwith requirements. Imgur's brand new .GIFV formatshould be coming out today, and the company says this is just thestart of improvements it'll be making to the GIF experience. They arenot done yet according to Schaaf. He also adds that we will see othercool GIF stuff come out of Imgur soon.

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