GIF Turns 30 Years Old!

By Ben Chelnitsky | USA

30 years ago today the .gif file format was created. Today the internet is flooded with a variety of GIFs (Source and video).

The GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) was developed by Steve Wilhite in 1987 (W3C). He was working for CompuServe, the first major commercial online service provider in the US.

Steve Wilhite

The GIF uses the Lempel–Ziv–Welch (LZW) algorithm, which was quickly patented.

The patent holder Unisys started collecting royalties and the result was a better format: PNG.

The relevant patents have expired.


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