So. You might have heard the news that, as of July 12, Tumblr is testing out converting GIFs into looping MP4 videos to help pages load faster:

This is bad. Tumblr is the only mainstream site left where you can post GIFs and they’ll continue to be GIFs – well, sort of, as Tumblr previously tested and implemented turning GIF into GIFV with the same purpose, and it decreases the quality of the original GIF file. Turning them into MP4 videos is even worse.

GIFs are GIFs. They’re not videos. Creators spend hours making a GIF that will look good as a GIF, not as a video.

I hope I don’t need to explain to anyone why continuing to screw over creators is bad for a site like Tumblr, whose continued existence depends on creators not giving up on it, and why gif-making is important to fandom existence.

I for one will not continue to make any more gifsets if I know they’ll just be turned into MP4 files. It’s disappointing to spend my time making something and watch it become ugly once it’s uploaded – and that’s what is already happening without the MP4 conversion.


Don’t bother sending a support ticket! They will tell you to do what I’m about to tell you:

Send an ask or submission to @wip– the official “work in progress” blog of Tumblr where people can send in suggestions.

Their ask box is open every Monday from 6AM to 6PM EST.

The conversation isn’t over, guys, but it’s important to be a part of it. If you’re a creator or support creators (and you should), then set an alarm on Monday and go send them a message.

Actually I did some more research into the samples and I’m wrong about the VP8 vs MP4 part: They’re using VP8 lossless.

However, this means, OP still isn’t right about:

1) “decreases the quality of the original GIF file.”

It’s a lossless conversion between gif frames and VP8 frames. As long as it gets the decompression correct, the composting on the previous frame correct and the frame delay correct it’s going to be indistinguishable. (webp is better since it generally compresses better. Remember everyone complaining about the mobile app? File sizes are a part of this.)

I WAS going to say: “this doesn’t mean there’s any difference between a GIF and a webp file.  Because there’s a quirk in the way gif delay is calculated you can’t have a gif with a frame delay under 20ms delays get changed to delays of 100ms.”

But I just tested it and the delay converts correctly:

The frame timing is exactly 1:1 between webp and gif

2) “you can post GIFs and they’ll continue to be GIFs

No, they’re webp files. They’ve been webp files and not gifs for almost three years now.

I still think the OP do some actual research.  🙄