What is a GIF?

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format, a bitmap image format. Limited to 256 colors, they are inconvenient for high-quality photos, but due to their support for animation, GIFs have become a popular format for short, silent, looping videos on the internet.

How does a GIF work?

GIFs use lossless compression to reduce the file size of images, making them easy to share. Most GIF animations last no longer than a few seconds.

The pronunciation of the term is hotly debated, though the format’s creator says the intended pronunciation uses the soft “J” sound instead of the hard “G”, so it sounds like “jif”.

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