They may have only become part of the everyday internet experience in recent years, but gifs are old school. Here we chart its rise in its 30th year

The humble gif is turning 30. The multi-purpose bitmap image format has established itself as part of internet culture, so much so that people have almost stopped arguing over how it is pronounced (overwhelmingly it is with a hard g, although the inventor of the format says he meant for it to be a soft g).

The gif, or graphics interchange format, was created by programmer Steve Wilhite, who longed for an image format that could be used across different computer platforms. At the time, in 1987, this included the likes of Atari, Apple and IBM. Plus modem speeds were slow and images took a long … time … to … load.

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