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Animated GIFs

Animated GIFs

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), was created by Steve Wilhite back in 1987 as a way to present a moving image. A GIF can also be a static image, but when people use the term they typically mean the animated GIFs that are taking over the Internet. When we talk about GIFs here, we are referring to animated GIFs.

Why have GIFs become so popular?

According to Clickz.com, “GIFs are not only appealing but also effective as they help enhance a brand’s message with visual content.

It has been observed that people only remember 20% of the text they read without visuals, which reminds us once again why visual power is more important than ever.”

GIFs are a great way to convey human emotion online.

“The GIF is a more advanced form of the emoji that allows an everyday user to more specifically communicate what they mean because now they’re not just communicating an emotion,” said adweek.com.

This is the first GIF ever created back in 1987. Hard to believe that was over 30 years ago!

GIF’s are supported by most platforms and they have a small file size.

GIFs can often portray the best part or essence of a video in a much shorter time. Now that browsers are much faster, GIFs are quick to load. A GIF will not play until it’s fully loaded so make sure the file size is small enough for it to start quickly.

GIFs are cheap and easy to create.

Pretty much anyone that knows how to use a computer can go to GIPHY and create or grab an already created gif. There are also sites such as gfycat.com or makeagif.com. You can also use programs like Photoshop to create a “Cinemagraph” which is essentially a high-end GIF.

Here is a link to some really beautiful Cinemagraphs: cinemagraphs.com


How do you pronounce GIF?

The creator says it is pronounced “JIF” like the peanut butter, but most people pronounce it GIF with a hard G.

How do you pronounce GIF?

Can you legally use someone else’s GIF in online marketing?

Forbes had this to say:
According to Peter Van Valkenburgh, “As of October 2013, there is no U.S. case that definitively states whether creating a GIF made from the copyrighted material is or isn’t copyright infringement.” Because of this, whether or not the usage of a GIF is legal depends on whether or not that usage falls under the doctrine of ‘fair use.’”

Since there is no standing legal decision on whether or not specifically creating a GIF from copyrighted material is technically infringement, these four factors are all taken into account when determining fair use:

1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit or educational purposes

2. The nature of the copyrighted work

3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

So the doctrine of fair use creates a legal opening for copyrighted material to be remixed and repurposed, as long as the new use is derivative of the original and does not create economic competition for the copyright holders.

We would imagine you could use the GIFs on GIPHY, since if the creator didn’t want it used, they probably wouldn’t put it on there. However, don’t take our word for it. Make sure if you are creating a GIF that you are using images or videos that you have purchased or have taken yourself.


The incredible thing about the internet is that we can work anywhere! Woodchuck Arts is geo-located in Newark, Ohio, Caledonia, MI and Toledo, OH. We serve clients from Seattle, Washington, to Washington D.C.

Email Heather at heather@woodchuckarts.com or call 724-281-0559
Email Erin at erin@woodchuckarts.com or call 616-528-2747

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