Simen of Enthusiasms explores the mystery and history of the GIF.
From a technical standpoint, the success of the lowly GIF is a mystery. Both as an image format and as a video/animation format, it’s vastly inferior to the alternatives. It only supports 256 colors; its compression is inefficient; it doesn’t support sound; the last specification was published more than twenty years ago. Yet it’s still thriving.
It’s some super geeky stuff.