Why do people prefer GIFs to Video?

There are many advantages to hosting GIFs on your website, versus using the traditional method of embedding video. This is an interesting topic which we figured warranted a blog discussion.

Initially, we stumbled upon a thread on the internet about why people prefer animated images to video. It was an interesting conversation with back and forth between the parties, which boiled down to one simple answer:

It turns out the answer is – Mobile!

When out in a public area, people can’t play sound due to not having their headphones or speakers turned up (You can turn it up, but you can be sure that it will annoy the people around you). Not everyone carries around headphones with them. Not only that, but you’ll have to switch from browser to YouTube (or whatever video app is invovled).  As a result, if someone wants to watch a video of a cat beating itself up (here you go), the reduced loading times as well as the ability to watch exactly what I described without disturbing others around you is easily accessible. Sure you can watch a video on YouTube, but:

1. The amount of data used on loading a video far exceeds the amount you would use if a GIF was loaded instead.
2. GIFs are sound free which can be viewed whenever and where ever (as long as your boss doesn’t mind you watching them at work).

Why else would people prefer GIFs? In addition to faster loading times, GIFs repeat themselves over and over and over again. This is kind of like Schrodinger’s cat. Does a GIF keep playing even after you close it? All jokes aside, this looping functionality can be used to your advantage! Remember that video of the cat beating itself up? People would think you were crazy if you laughed out loud saying “This video of a cat beating itself up is so funny!” If you wanted to show an actual video of this happening to your friends, you would have to deal with rewinding the video back to its original starting point (If say, it was from a cat compilation that had multiple other videos merged together) as well as buffering times. By then, interest is already lost.

With GIFs, that doesn’t happen! Just turn your mobile device to your friend and they will be able to watch the video over and over again as many times as they want. This is why GIFs are far more convenient than videos.

KISSmetrics reports from the image below that every second counts.


Loading time is a major contributing factor to page abandonment. If users are waiting 4 seconds for something to load, about 1/4 of them have already left. Wait more than 6 seconds and almost 1/2 are already gone. In the time that it takes you to type out this sentence, already 1/2 of your users are gone. Now that is not a whole lot of time!

Mobile Web users usually give 6-10 seconds before they abandon the page. Here at GIForial, we specialize in creating customized GIFs that can be easily viewed anywhere and everywhere.

Overall, ensuring that your loading times are minimal is imperative to running a successful venture. We are here to make that happen for you because here at GIForial we believe it is possible to make a great presentation with beautifully designed GIFs customized exactly the way you like. Get in touch with us today to discuss creating high quality GIF tutorials for your company.

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