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GIFs are about to get even cooler than you ever imagined

Published Oct 9th, 2014 6:15PM EDT
Imgur Project GIFV Announced

GIFs have brought the Internet a lot of joy and laughs over the years and now they’re about to get even better. Popular photo sharing site Imgur on Thursday announced a new initiative called Project GIFV that it says is “reimagining the looping GIF video with all the richness it deserves as a key piece of Internet culture.”

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What makes these new GIF files so special? Mostly, Imgur has come up with a way to significantly compress longer GIF videos so uploading them is a snap. In its example, Imgur took a GIF that checked in at a hefty 50MB and, through its conversion to a GIFV file, slimmed it down to just 3Mb.

How does such magic work, you ask? According to Imgur, it’s all about converting GIF files to MP4 files and then making them behave the way GIF files normally do.

“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 writes. “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.”

To learn more about how GIFV files will work, go to Imgur’s blog by hitting the source link below.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.