Be prepared and be warned. This article is dangerous and might cause uncontrollable laughter, screen staring and you might even start questioning the meaning of life. We are going to be writing about GIF’s.
Yes, GIF’s, those small animated images that are looped and cause people to share them violently across the web. GIF’s make the internet go around, if you know what I mean.
There are cat related gif’s, meme gif’s, celebrity gif’s, fail gif’s and much more. They can make you laugh or run away in disgust. But one thing is for certain – they are viral.
One problem with GIF’s, other than the cat images, is that they are old. Really old. The technology was developed back in 1985 and the GIF format itself was introduced in 1987. For reference sake, the first ever web server and web browser came in 1990. This means that the format supports a maximum 8 bits of data per pixel and a limit of 256 colors. That is nothing and yet – it is a thing.
So we could not hold our excitement when Mattias Granlund, who is originally from Finland, came to visit an ArcticStartup Announce event and told us that they are building a facelift for GIF’s, where you would be able to see it in a lot higher quality and most importantly create it from any image, video file or even a Youtube link.
We could finally experience everything in full color and even pause, rewind and reverse the direction. Pretty cool, we thought, but how much traction could something like this get?
According to Granlund, who has been working in Google as a quantitative marketing manager – a lot. He was able to sneak peek into the GIF traffic numbers, to find that there were over 3 billion GIF views a month a few years ago and by now the number is probably significantly higher.
Granlund is also an avid Reddit user and knows that GIF’s are a huge part of it, generating massive discussions and upvotes – generating a lot of traffic. So, Grandlund and his co-founder Jason Grishkoff saw an opportunity and built GifLike.
It is basically a new way of making and sharing GIF’s, but it also displays them in a completely new way depending on the platform you are on. For example if you are on a PC, the link will display an .mp4 video file to you, which allows for better colors, smaller size and better experience overall. If you come from a mobile device, however, the Giflike will be generated using jpeg’s and some smart coding.
In the end, no matter where you view it from, the resolution is much higher, there are more colors and the files are around 1/5th the size. Not to mention the control you get over the image: As Grishkoff told us: “You can view it frame by frame, pause it, rewind it. You will be able to experience a GIF in a way that nobody else has been able to to date. “
These improvements show traction too, they have already registered over one million unique visitors to Giflike.com in just three months, generating 2-2.5 million page views. To achieve that, they mainly used Reddit and Stumbleupon and users picked it up from there.
Of course, if you so desire you can still share the images as plain old GIF’s, making Giflike one of the easiest ways to create GIF’s on the planet.
“We want to create a content platform. We want people to create animations and share them through Giflike. Today there is no real website which allows for easy creation and consumtption of animations“ and Giflike wants to be that platform, says Granlund.
So without further adieu, please enjoy some Giflike’s below: