The popular file format for animated images has seen a sharp decline as users increasingly turn to PNG

Use of GIFs on the web in decline

2012 was officially the year of the GIF. Yes, really. But 2013? Not so much.

Web Technology Services have discovered that the use of GIF files on the internet has declined as users increasingly turn to the PNG file format.

WTS found that PNG files were used on 62.4 per cent of all websites, moving past the humble GIF, which was used on just 62.3 per cent.

Compare that to last year where the GIF lead the race by a clear 15 per cent and it becomes apparent that the internet seems to have gotten over its love affair with the file format.

However, forum lurkers shouldn’t fear, as whilst the numbers paint an upsetting picture, they largely relate to the file usage of the wider web, and not the endless GIF files that are plastered across Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites.

WTS explains: "It’s the technical superiority that now convinces webmasters to chose PNG over GIF. PNG results in smaller files most of the time, it supports a much wider range of color depths and transparency options."

"The only feature where GIF still shines is its support for animation. However, most people find that dancing icons on a website make it look like it hasn’t been redesigned in the last 15 years."

"Animation is mostly used for ads nowadays, and even there, animated GIF’s would be considered the poor mans alternative to Flash," the firm summarised.

So whilst the technologically superior PNG has statistically overtaken the GIF, users of the web needn’t worry.

There will still be plenty of animated one liners littering the world wide web.

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