The planet of GIF

Written by Susi Doherty

Updated: February 2019

 What is a GIF?

All Aconryms notes that there are actually 44 different meanings for GIF – from Global Income Fund to Guniee Airlines to Guaranteed Investment Funds.
This dip into the world of GIFs is (take a breath…):
“The Graphics Interchange Format (better known by its acronym GIF /ˈdʒɪf/ JIF or /ˈɡɪf/ GHIF) is a bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987 and has since come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its wide support and portability.”  GIF – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
To those of us that remember pre-computer days, it is rather like a computerised flip book!


  • The first GIF (arguably as these things often are) is “Dancing Baby,” also called “Baby Cha-Cha,” (remember Ally McBeal?!): you can see it here Burning Pixel
  • GIFs compress the quality of images to 256 colours, (compare that to 16.7 million colours in a JPEG).
  • You can make your own GIFS from You Tube (usual copyright warnings) here: GIFS 
  • There is a Twitter account devoted entirely to GIFs (no surprise there really!)
  • There are some really funny takes on the GIF here on Ad Week
  • Top GIF dogs Giphy recently enabled its iOS app to enable users to share directly to their social media on their iPhones.
  • There are a massive number of GIFS out there for use free of charge, for instance TUMBLR
  • Two of my current favourite GIF time wasters are:

Here’s one I made earlier on a shoot with Liz just using my iPhone (NB she’s more of a cat person!):

So there you have it, there’s more to the world of GIFs than you may have realised!  Have a play. Send me any you find that you have used for business – I’d love to hear how they went down with clients!