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Video alternative to GIF

Several alternatives to the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) have been proposed, usually HTML5 video, for the display of short, silent, looping, moving picture files on the web.

Videos resolve many issues that GIFs present through common usage on the web. They include drastically smaller file sizes, the ability to surpass the 8-bit color restriction, and better frame-handling and compression through codecs. Virtually universal support for the GIF format in web browsers and a lack of official support for video in the HTML standard caused GIF to rise to prominence for the purpose of displaying short video-like files on the web. The introduction of the video element in the HTML5 specification, which, along with the mp4 and WebM video file formats, allowed for broader support and easier implementation of videos, making video alternatives for GIFs more practical.


In April 2014, 4chan added support for silent WebM videos that are under 3 MB in size and 2 min in length,[1][2] and in October 2014, Imgur started converting any .gif files uploaded to the site to video and giving the link to the HTML player the appearance of an actual file with a .gifv extension.[3][4]

In January 2016, Telegram started re-encoding all GIFs to MPEG4 videos that "require up to 95% less disk space for the same image quality."[5]

Another alternative to a .gif is an .apng (Animated Portable Network Graphics). However, not all browsers support this image format.


<video src="example.mp4" autoplay muted loop />


  1. ^ Dewey, Caitlin. "Meet the technology that could make GIFs obsolete". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  2. ^ "WebM support on 4chan". 4chan Blog. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Introducing GIFV". Imgur. 2014-08-09. Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  4. ^ Allan, Patrick. "Imgur Revamps GIFs for Faster Speeds and Higher Quality with GIFV". Lifehacker. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  5. ^ "GIF Revolution". Official Telegram Blog. Retrieved 4 January 2016.