It feels like the animated GIF is having a huge renaissance on the Internet.
- Oxford American Dictionaries named it the word of the year.
- It's become a central part of the way the Internet covers sports.
- Tumblr, which could be fairly described as YouTube for GIFs, is an $800 million company.
- Buzzfeed, which is to GIFs in the 21st century as LIFE Magazine was to photos in the 20th, just raised $15.5 million at a $200 million valuation.
But here's the shocking truth: the GIF is actually on the decline.
According to W3Techs, the PNG format just passed the GIF format as the most popular lossless image compression format on the Web.
PNGs were used on 62.4% of all Websites in January. GIFs were used on 62.3%.
See it for yourself:
If you're on team GIF, blame the Europeans for your loss and thank the Asians for keeping the fight so close. Web3Techs says the PNG is " very popular in Europe, with over 70% in France, Italy, Spain and Netherlands, but much less in Asia, with 41% in Japan, 34.6% in Korea and only 30.6% in China."
GIF lovers shouldn't worry too much.
So long as the Miami Heat's Chris Bosh is around, they aren't going anywhere.
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