6 GIFs About Things You Never Knew About GIFs

March 21, 2016 | Elizabeth Knowles

How to pronounce gif? Jig or gif?
Photo credit: ChefAJ/imgur

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many is a GIF worth?

Your Facebook wall may sometimes be filled with GIFs, but how much do you really know about them?

GIFs are old

The first GIF was used in January 1987 and pictured an airplane (not this one).

The GIFs are watching you

GIFs can be imbedded into newsletters sent out to tell individuals how many people open their emails because the GIF needs to be downloaded from the server to be displayed every time.

GIFs can help the oppressed

According to Colombian digital artist Elektra KB, information and opinions shared through GIFs are hard to track because they cannot be searched for using keywords by online sensors.


Although many people pronounce GIF with a hard G, it should really be a soft one according to GIF inventor, Steve Wilhite.
“The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations,” Wilhite said. “They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.”

GIFs aren’t always GIFs

When GIFs are uploaded to Facebook or Twitter, they are converted to video files so they aren’t actually GIFs anymore.

2012 Word of the Year

GIF stands for graphic interchange format and the verb was made word of the year by the Oxford Dictionary in 2012. The past tense is GIFed.

Hat Tip: New Scientist

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