When Jason Walter first made the r/ HighQualityGifs subreddit in September 2013, he did so plainly as a lane to aggregate the GIFs he made in his spare time. GIFs hadn’t yet become the juggernaut they are today: Facebook had just enabled them the month before, and Twitter wouldn’t do so until that November. Even if you wanted to create one, the technological the limit of the formation necessary a height of Photoshop skill to pull off something worthwhile. Preserving them, Walter anticipated, was just good sense.
“In the beginning, there was maybe a two-megabyte restriction or a ten-megabyte limit[ depending on the nature of the scaffold ], and you had to create something within those constraints, ” Walter says. “It was a skill.” But current challenges was half the merriment: his hobby was as much training exercises in economics as it was in application wizardry. Becoming something that examined good asked fidgeting with the number of colors the GIF contained, or accommodating the lossy compression–all for a remarkably brief make. “If you are able get to five seconds on[ those width limits] you were lucky, ” Walter says.
Five years later, those conditions are all but a concept of the past; those short curves have conceded dirt to a more technically and culturally accommodating type of GIF. No longer confined to the inefficiencies of the format and consumption actions of the early social web, the graphics interchange format–or at least what it contains–has entered its next stage. Welcome to the era of the longform GIF.