My reaction when I see an animated gif that really conveys a message that I understand with a pop culture reference that I like
There came a time in webland that every designer would roll their eyes when you mentioned the file format GIF to them. Even worse of a crime would be to *gasp* embed an animated gif on your webpage. The file format is known for being bloated and giving off dithered pixels. It was basically a dying format of the internets in favor of the lovely new PNG.
Animated gifs have made a comeback. In a big way.
But why do we all love animated gifs so much?
Because they can convey human emotion in a really simple, funny and effective way. They are the emoticon 2.0. They reference pop culture. They are hilarious. They take the snippets of life that make us all laugh – or cry – or cringe and wrap them up into 2 easy viewing seconds that we can understand. They are easily exchangeable and easy to make.
Now the big question is when will social media wake up to this phenomenon and do more to support animated gifs. Some sites are moving that direction – like Vine by Twitter and Google+ has added support for animated gifs in their profiles. But what about support in Facebook timeline or in Skype messaging? Even Tumblr – home of many animated gif sites – doesn’t really support the gifs in their timeline without clicking on the image first.
Or do you think it is just another fad and they will die out soon enough…?