It was announced yesterday that Twitter had turned a corner, introducing animated GIF support to their micro blogging service. This was one particular request by Twitter users over the past few years, and it is nice to hear that Twitter has listened to what their users had to say, and acted upon them. The question is, are these animated GIFs all that they are touted to be? Apparently, Twitter isn’t offering animated GIFs to its millions of users, but rather, it converts GIFs into MP4s.
This leads to the question, why is Twitter taking this particular route? The primary reason would be efficiency issues in the conversion process. For instance, when Twitter converts a 500kb GIF into a 100kb MP4, that results in a massive reduction of file size of 80%, and when you multiply that by millions and millions of users, we are talking about just how much less workload the servers have. Not only that, the efficient MP4s will also prove to be beneficial to those who happen to be rocking on a restricted data plans.
Mobile users are not the only ones who will benefit from the conversion to MP4s, since desktop users too, ought to be able to see an improvement in their computer’s performance.