Imgur Introduces GIFV

I’ve written before about how much I love Imgur. To me, Imgur is a company to watch; not only are they at the forefront of the internet, as they own a ton of internet traffic (seriously, 5 billion monthly pageviews!), but I can tell they take this responsibility seriously and are actively looking for ways to improve internet culture.

Today, Imgur announced a new innovation that they’ve been working on called GIFV. From their blog post:

GIFs are no longer about .GIFs–the culture of the GIF now trumps the file format. With Project GIFV, Imgur is reimagining the looping GIF video with all the richness it deserves as a key piece of Internet culture.

With GIFV, essentially, Imgur has been working on a way to maintain the richness and quality of a GIF yet keep the file size small (read: quick loading and less use of bandwidth – not only important to any internet user but key to a satisfactory mobile experience).

Here’s an example they provided:

The good news is, as Imgur writes, “Project GIFV implements MP4 video in a way that looks and behaves exactly like a GIF.” Hoorah! However, beyond that, they state that “will now fully animate on channels like Twitter and Facebook”. As we know, many Facebook users have moaned about this lack of feature on the platform before (and there have been many false starts in solving this), so I am curious to see how this plays out. Will it still work like Giphy in which it looks/acts like a video? Would love to know.

Finally, Imgur states that they’ll be introducing a new file format extension: the .gifv extension. As they write,

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.

Overall, I’m very excited to see if this takes off. This could change – for the better – the GIF culture that exists, and what better platform to bring this forward than one of the biggest internet websites around.