While the GIF format has plenty of capabilities and just as many limitations it remains a powerful way to deliver a little amount of content.
Their simplicity and brevity often forces creators to compact a number of ideas into the short, looping video segments which when executed correctly provide us with all manner of humorous, bizarre and utilitarian forms.
The recent resurgence of the GIF format has also prompted a variety of artistic uses and the evolution of the medium to rival most other popular trends.
The file format was original purposed to allow for short animated loops to be sent, accessed or used over the internet and gained most of their meaning through repetition. The recent development of an art form known as ‘cinemagraphs’, developed by artists Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg, use the concept of repetition to create still images with moving elements in a natural loop. Their focus is on taking images familiar to a broad audience and tweaking the composition to enable a viewer to see the image in a whole new way, or seeing it for the first time again if you take my meaning.
Aside from reasons based on the evolution of art forms other catalysts have been suggested for the resurgence of the file format most felt was on its way out. The emergence of social networking platforms and the explosion in creativity attributed to online behaviour related to social sharing has catapulted GIFs back into mainstream content production.
Take for instance the inexplicable popularity of the ‘Nyan Cat’. Body of a pop tart with the head of a cat shooting rainbows out its backside. This example seems to demonstrate a willful ignorance on behalf of the viewer to popularise anything that catches their attention.
With the ultimate focus of brand content to capture eyeballs, GIFs as a file format of choice, just might be the answer to the prayers of content publishers looking for that next trending piece.
Alex Kenny is a Digital Account Manager
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