An Introduction to GIFs

13 / Nov / 2015 by Amos Seah 0 comments

I’m pretty sure most of us have heard of GIFs, but how much do we really know about it? Here’s a simple introduction to what exactly GIFs are, and how to post them on Facebook.

What’s a GIF?

GIFs stand for Graphics Interchange Format, first introduced in 1987 before becoming a widely used file format because of its wide support and portability.

GIFs are compressed using a lossless data compression technique that reduces the file size without degrading quality of the image, hence they became a popular format for certain image types.

Supporting up to 8 bits per pixel with a palette of up to 256 colours in RGB, GIFs are a format of choice for images with flat areas of uniform colour with well defined edges, such as logos.

Most of us should also be aware of GIFs’ unique ability to exist as simple animations. The animated Gifs we see everywhere are in fact a series of multiple images stored into one file!

‘Gief… Jif?’

GIF is pronounced as ‘JIF’, as opposed to using a hard ‘G’ (like ‘Gift’). After years of debate, the correct pronunciation for the file format was only confirmed by its creator Steve Wihite in 2013.

How do I post a GIF image on Facebook ?

It was only earlier this year that Facebook finally allowed the posting of GIFs. Here’s a simple guide on how you can share GIFs with your friends or fans on Facebook.

  1. Get the URL of your GIF

At the the moment, GIF postings only work if they are posted as an URL. However, there shouldn’t be a problem finding a GIF from sites such as Tumblr, Imgur and Giphy. If you have created a GIF of your own, you can upload them to any of the mentioned sites above to get a URL for sharing on Facebook.

2. Loading and Posting

Paste the GIF’s URL into the status update box, then hit ‘space’ or ‘enter’, and the GIF image should load below. You may choose to delete the URL in the text box after the GIF loads. Hit post and you are done. Have fun!



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