What Is a GIFV? The New File Type Explained

(Huvr/Funny or Die)

(Huvr/Funny or Die)

GIFs are part of life on the Internet (the GIF above comes from the Huvr video, in case you were wondering). It seems like every blog and website uses GIFs to showcase memorable moments, breaking news, and stuff that’s just plain cool. But the GIF format you know and love is changing, starting today. There’s a new GIF in town, and its called the “GIFV.”

Today, the popular image sharing site Imgur introduced what they’re calling the GIFV file format. As TIME explains, GIFV is better than regular GIFs because the new format gives you higher image quality and a smaller file size. That smaller file size means faster load times, and less of a drain on your mobile data restrictions. This is arguably the biggest change to GIF files since the file type debuted in 1987.

In a blog post, Imgur explained the benefits of the GIFV, which is basically just a MP4 video format file:

“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…

-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…”

Want to make a GIFV of your own? It’s really simple. Every GIF uploaded to Imgur is now automatically converted to the new format, so just head over to Imgur to try it out. You can see an example of the new format GIFs here, which clocks in at a mere 3.4MB. Not too shabby for an animated image of that size.


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