The next time you upload your cool GIFs to Imgur, they will be converted into MP4 format automatically by the website, and the converted file will be denoted with a ‘.gifv’ extension. Imgur announced the Project GIFV yesterday, and said in the official announcement that they are reimagining the looping GIF video with all the richness it deserves as a key piece of Internet culture. The converted MP4 files are significantly smaller than their equivalent GIFs, which allows them to load at lightning-fast speeds with better quality, according to Imgur. Although smaller in size, the converted MP4 video looks and behaves exactly like a GIF and offers substantial increase in performance.
Imgur has put up a sample ‘gifv’ file on the website which, if they are to be believed, was initially a 50MB file, and shrunk into a mere 3.4MB after the conversion.
That’s remarkable! The compression ratio is 14.7 and the sample file which they provided on the website doesn’t look like Imgur traded space off with quality, although they didn’t put up the original file for comparison.
But is ‘.gifv’ a new file format?
Negative, commander. It’s not a format, it’s just a fancy way Imgur decided to call their MP4-Converted GIF file. It’s still an MP4 in the essence. Don’t heed to any media outlets which call it a new file format.
According to the announcement, 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 upload limits of GIFs have been substantially increased, with the company abolishing the 5MB limit and introducing a new 50MB limit for one of the most favorite form of entertainment of teh netizens.
Imgur’s announcement reads: “We hope these changes deliver an improved GIF experience on Imgur with more fun and less frustration, optimizing it for all of the changes that have happened on the Internet since the format was first introduced in 1987.”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never faced any kind of frustration with my regular Imgur GIFs, but then again, I’m not one of those ‘massive’ uploaders who upload tons of GIFs a day.
There is no question about the ‘market’ dominance of Imgur, the service is leaps and bounds ahead of similar image-sharing websites. One of the reasons behind its massive growth is that it doesn’t screw up the user experience with advertisements.
True, they do serve ads, but they place ads in a much better and almost non-intrusive fashion, which doesn’t really interfere with watching kitty pictures.