Image hosting site Imgur has decided the old GIF format for animated images just isn’t cutting it anymore. In a site-wide update, Imgur is now converting animated GIF uploads into what it calls GIFV. The new tech essentially takes standard GIFs an then converts them into a form of MP4 video.
This means the service can accept much larger and higher quality GIFs. Normally limited to 5MB, users can now upload GIFs as big as 50MB. As you can see in these comparison shots, the 50MB version is of much higher quality than the standard 5MB image.
Imgur says its just trying to upgrade a technology introduced in 1989, attempting to keep the same experience intact just with a modern approach. Not only are the GIFVs of much higher quality, but they also offer even smaller file sizes. GIFVs still auto play as you would expect and even play at the proper speed while loading, unlike a standard GIF.
The new moving images should also help performance on mobile applications and because they are essentially small videos now, will work on social networks like Twitter. Imgur says more is to come with GIF development and that it is currently submitting its new GIFV format to standards groups in hopes of wider adoption.