Animated gifs on Twitter and

Just as we launch the ability to convert movies to animated gifs (these can be in a variety of formats like mp4 and mov), Twitter announces that it now supports animated gifs!! You simply attach it the same way as you would a photo.

There’s a couple of things you need to watch out for though.

Really a gif?

When you upload an animated gif to twitter, it actually gets converted to an mp4 movie file. This is why it has a play button overlaid over the first frame rather than it being animated right away. This also means that the animated gif you uploaded might look differently to the mp4 that twitter has. We’ve seen different results.

A 3Mb limit ?

When you upload a file you may get a warning that the file is too big for twitter and it needs to be below 3Mb. We’ve seen this even if the file is much less than 3Mb (like 2.1Mb). We suspect that twitter is converting the file to mp4 and then checking the size and if that conversion results in a file greater than 3Mb – you’ll get the warning. It can take a bit of trial and error with big files. You can do this on – reduce the frame rate and use the scale option to produce a smaller file if your animated gif comes from a movie.

Lastly, at the time of writing, some apps are still to catch up. Windows Phone users for example won’t see your animated gif.

Its still great news though. Animated gifs are more popular than ever!

How to pronounce Gif (and png!)

“Choosy moms choose Jif” is the slogan for a popular peanut butter in America.

When Steve Wilhite created the gif file format in 1987 at Compuserve, he would say “Choosy developers choose Gif”, a reference to the peanut butter slogan.

Gif stands for “Graphic Interchange Format” so its not surprising that it was pronounced by almost everybody else as having a hard G (in the same way we would say ‘gift’). However it should probably be pronounced with a soft ‘g’ as in ‘giraffe’.

If you do pronounce it with a hard ‘G’, don’t worry. The Oxford English Dictionary made “Gif” its Word of the Year in 2012 and in response to the fact we may all be saying it wrong, they have said that both pronunciations are acceptable regardless of what its creator, Steve, would prefer since he has little control over how people have gone on to pronounce it.

Or you could just spell out the letters …  which is what the the National Spelling Bee’s official pronouncer does in the video in this link

While we’re at it, the developers of the PNG (or “Portable Network Graphics”) image file format have said it should always be pronounced “ping” and not “pee en gee”.