Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is a popular image format developed by CompuServe in the late 1980s. Originally created to replace a previous CompuServe created format RLE (which could only display black and white), the original version of the GIF was essentially just another image format in a sea of file formats.
What ultimately set GIF apart from other file formats was the major revisions it underwent in 1989, the most significant of which was the ability to house multiple images within the container and display them as an animation. These simple animations would prove to be wildly popular and would appear everywhere from web site error pages to forwarded emails over the next decades.
Despite the advent of video streaming websites, GIF files still enjoy widespread popularity and remain in frequent use as delivery tools for memes and other internet-spawned jokes.
- By Jason Fitzpatrick on 02/21/13