Inventor Steve Wilhite introduced the GIF file format (Graphics Interchange Format) on June 15, 1987. To commemorate its 25th anniversary, several noted GIF artists were recently featured on The Daily Dot, including Chris Torres (Nyan Cat), Pusheen, Lacey Micallef (aka lulinternet) and more.
The GIF is now a format fit for museums and the lingua franca for people eager to express themselves with more than just an emoticon. GIFs have also gone mobile. Thanks to programs like 3Frames, Cinemagram and GIFShop, GIFs flood almost every social network imaginable. And that includes Tumblr, the bustling microblogging site that has helped transform the format into a true artistic medium with limitless potential.
Also, according to Wilhite, it’s pronounced “jif”, as in Jif Peanut Butter.