Twitter now supports GIFs, but check it out: they're actually presented as video



I would accept this as an advance but for the way the embedding widget is always Flash, which destroys the advantages of conversion to video. Wasn’t HTML5 supposed to do something about this?


There are reasons for companies to choose a method that may go deeper than any of us can fathom. Having designed some equipment for The Phone Company, I saw a lot of things that seemed bone-headed on the surface. When I was informed of the implications of trying to do it the “right” way, it became apparent that the “wrong” way was in fact the only way that would work.


He said one of the reasons they do this is “control.” Translation - since they made the MP4, they can claim that gives them copyright, so they can make money off other peoples’ images without having to pay to license the work.

Except that this won’t fly, as they would need permission to use the original. Converting an animated GIF to MP4 is not transformative, and it’s using the whole thing rather than a snippet, and so forth. Not that any of these fine points will stop them from issuing bogus DMCA notices.


That’s a poor translation of the article, which says:

Videos allow Twitter to leverage the browser. This means play, pause, and seek, but also cool things like slow-motion.

The author does not mention copyright issues at all.


Is that how they’re doing it? Gfycat uses native WEBM and MP4, which means it uses native HTML5. When I checked one of the story’s links, it was an MP4. Weirdly, it’s in an iframe instead of a video tag. Are you using a browser that doesn’t support MP4 playback? Some websites use Flash polyfill to support bad browsers.

We really need to have To Hell With Bad Browsers 2.0. It’s been 13 years.

I just think it’s funny that the thing that it took to get HTML5 video to catch on isn’t Youtube, but bandwidth costs of animated GIFs. And honestly, I’m pretty sure that’s what this is all about.


That may be it. All I know is Flashblock is catching it. I’ll twiddle my extensions and see.

Edit: Ah, checkbox, “Block HTML5 video as well”. Okay then. Nevermind.


We’re all still waiting for APNG:


This is just silly.

Indeed. MP4 is SO much more compressible than GIF… the comeback of GIF is really making routers cry.


I now own a machine with two Xeons in it, and enough RAM that all the ‘will my PC play [insert game]’ advice sites basically just show me smiley faces, and for the first time ever, io9’s ‘GIF party Friday’ page now actually loads, so yeah. .GIFs.


It’s worth pointing out that has been doing the same thing for a while now, converting all uploaded gifs to mp4. When your primary user base is people on their phone, the difference between a 100kb and 500kb file is dramatic.

Unless you actually read the article and see that “control” was meant literally, e.g. pausing.

I wonder how their converter chooses the frame rate for the generated video, since animated GIF doesn’t necessarily have a fixed frame rate; in fact, the display time for each frame can be set independently.

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Yeah, dammit! Where the hell is APNG?

Can we get on with the 21st century plz?

Yeah, I edited individual frame lengths in this GIF to emphasise Palin’s ‘let me handle it’ gesture… (although perhaps it’s a glitchy proposition; if I open this GIF in the app I edited it with, it loses all that info and just makes each frame 150ms).

BTW, I love this little sequence; as bike mechanic myself, I’ve come across many a bike that would’ve been better off without the attentions of its owner…

If only those without a technical bone in their body would leave the nuts and bolts to those of us with a clue, eh?

If you’re twitter, saving a fifth or more bandwidth serving images is not silly…

That’s not what they’re calling silly. Read the comment they’re responding to again.

Yep. Just tested it. Seems to work.