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Twitter Has Been Too Slow To Catch Up With The Visual Web

Twitter Has Been Too Slow To Catch Up With The Visual Web ReadWrite


Eight years after the invention of Twitter, animated GIFs have finally come to the network. That's way too slow, and it tells us a lot about the speed with which Twitter is adapting to the way people use the Web these days.

Animated GIFs, image formats which display a looping video clip, have been around since the days of Usenet and American Online. For nearly a decade they fell out of fashion, until their slightly kitschy nostalgia brought them back to prominence. Quick to load and easy for anybody to create, they’ve slowly repopulated the Internet. 

For the past year, you’ve been able to embed and share animated GIFs on Facebook and Pinterest—far longer than that on Tumblr and Reddit. Among the social networks that matter, Twitter is dead last in providing this functionality. 

Thanks for the final concession, Twitter, but the fact that it took you so long to add support for GIFs is a symptom of your larger problem.

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Only another 8 years until they adopt webm HTML 5 videos.

The animated gif support on Twitter is still so bad, it makes me not want to tweet animated gifs.

It turns out Twitter GIFs are not gifs.

Twitter converts all gifs to mp4 videos.

That's right, they're not even using the HTML5 video standard webm:

Sam Colt explains why Twitter GIFs not being gifs is a good thing:

When you upload a GIF to Twitter, it actually converts it into an MP4, a type of video file.

I know you're frustrated, but this is actually a good thing.

Bradley Cooper hot reaction gif Imgur gfycat

Twitter uploads your GIFs as videos because they're much easier to compress, making them easier to share on mobile devices. 

It also means you can slow down or pause your "GIFs," making them exponentially more entertaining.

But the biggest takeaway here is that Twitter may become a place to share videos with your friends, not just YouTube links and screenshots. And that's something we can all get excited about.

Mariah Carey clapping gif Imgur gfycat

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