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GIF File Format: What Is It?

Editorial Staff

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Over the course of the last decade or so, there has been a lot of debate over the pronunciation of the GIF file format.

Some people pronounce “GIF” with a hard G, like “gift” without a T on the end. Other people pronounce “GIF” with a soft G so that it’s “Jif” like the peanut butter brand.

You’re welcome to pronounce “GIF” in whichever way that you want. But if you’re going to be using GIF file formats for one reason or another, you should make sure you’re familiar with what the GIF file format actually is.

Check out our GIF file guide below to learn everything you need to know.

What Is a GIF File?

Before we can begin talking about how you can use the GIF file format to your advantage, you need to know the answer to the question, “What is a GIF file?” So let’s start there.

The “GIF” in GIF file format stands for “Graphical Interchange Format.” This might make a GIF sound a little more complicated than it actually is. But essentially, a GIF file is an image that has been animated.

Some people make the mistake of thinking that GIF files are videos. But as you’ll notice when you see one, GIFs don’t have any sound, and they usually aren’t very long.

Instead, they’re a little bit like flipbooks in that they’ll show an image in motion for a short period of time before stopping and starting over again.

How Are GIF Files Used?

GIFs have been around for a whole lot longer than most people realize. The first GIFs were created way back in the late 1980s.

But GIFs have become popular in recent years due in large part to the key role that they play in meme culture. A lot of the people who create memes use GIFs in order to do it.

This has led to more than a few social media managers using the GIF file format when putting together memes for their clients.

How Can You Find GIF Files?

In this day and age, it’s pretty easy to get your hands on GIF files. A simple Google search should help you find an appropriate GIF when you want to create a meme yourself.

You can also convert GIF to MP4 files if you would like to take that approach to utilizing GIFs on social media. This has helped make the GIF file format even more accessible for many people.

Start Using the GIF File Format More Often From Now On

Now that you know the answer to the question, “What is a GIF file?”, and understand how to use the GIF file format, you should start putting GIFs to good use. Whether you’re using them for personal or professional reasons, you can get a lot of mileage out of GIFs.

You can also spend some time deciding where you stand on the great “GIF vs. JIF” debate. You’ll want to know where you stand before you begin discussing GIFs with others.

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