Twitter Lied about its GIFs

A GIF is a GIF is a GIF

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© 2017 Twitter

Twitter announced this week that GIFs can now be shared and viewed on the company’s iPhone, Android and web versions. Except they lied to us.

Sorry for getting all pedantic on you, but It comes down to the definition of a GIF, which dates back to 1987. It is a type of file (.GIF), much the same way a Word Doc (.Doc) or a JPEG (.JPG) is a recognised a file format .

You should never need to click on a Gif file to make it work - the animated images should remain on a continuous loop on your screen. If you have to click on the file, it is already a Flash file, which by definition is not a GIF. Sorry to split hairs, Twitter.

Flash can be used as a wrapper for all kinds of content, but when it is used with a GIF it changes the nature of the file, and to be honest it isn’t half as spontaneous or fun. On Twitter “GIFs” will now appear in your feed with a play button, like other video content, which sort of takes away the whole point.