GIF stands for “Graphics Interchange Format.” A GIF is a short, animated image format without any sound that is typically used by software programs and images on the websites.
Unlike JPG image file formats, GIFs use carefree compression, which means not losing any image quality. GIFs are commonly used to create memes to react or show emotions, for example, an image, which is used to indicate shock emotion.
In starting, most of the GIFs were only moving icons like the glowing “Buy Now” button on the web page, but it quickly became out of fashion.
However, with the popularity of social media platforms, GIFs have returned as a form of animated memes.
In 2012, GIF became so popular that the word “GIF” became the year of the Oxford American Dictionary.
GIF can be called “Jif,” just like the word “gift.”
However, GIFs store image data using indexed colors, which means that a standard GIF image can contain a maximum of 256 colors. (Making it unsuitable for photographers).
As we mentioned above, GIF contains only 256 colors, which means that storing digital images, like images captured with a digital camera, is not supported. Even when we apply a custom color palette to smooth out images, images saved in GIF format look unreal and grainy. Therefore other PNG, JPG, or JPEG formats support millions or billions of colors for storing digital images.
GIF images are only suitable for banners and buttons on a web page, as this type of image does not require too many colors.
But most web developers prefer to use the PNG format because it supports an extensive range of colors with alpha channel support (alpha channel allows this image to be transparent).
However, PNGs and JPEGs do not support animated file formats, so animated GIFs are still popular on the web.
History of GIF:
The original or previous version of GIF is known as “GIF 87a,” which was published in 1987.
Two years later, in 1889, CompuServe released a new version called “GIF 89a”.
The “89a” format is similar to the “87a” format, but some additional features include metadata and transparent backgrounds.
Both formats support animations that allowing a stream of images in a single file. However, an additional feature about animation in the “89a” format is the animation delay.