How to Optimize Animated GIFs for Web Use

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Creating animated GIFs is a very popular way of sharing short video loops over the internet. But there is a much more effective way to do this. It is called WebM. The main advantage of WebM in comparison with animated GIF is its much smaller size.

In a previous post, I mentioned gifs.com. I created an animated loop from a YouTube video. You can take a look here.

Gifs.com creates both a GIF and a WebM animation from the selected YouTube video.

So let’s compare the sizes of both of these animations:
GIF version … 1,047,028 bytes
WebM version … 395,767 bytes or 2.645x less

In some other cases when I compared GIFs to WebM, the WebM version was more than 27-times smaller in size. This is a lot of bandwidth saved when uploading and downloading from the internet.

An excellent and free online service for converting animated GIFs to WebM videos is gfycat.com.

You can upload your GIF file or enter the animation’s URL and gfycat.com will instantly convert it into a WebM video.

After the WebM video is complete, just right-click on it and select Save image as… from the drop-down menu to save the file on your hard drive.

In addition to its small size, WebM is an open source video format, it is widely supported by major browsers and media players.

To learn more about WebM, visit its project site.

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