No it frikkin isn't.
That is all.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority wants Facebook to sell Giphy to prevent the Silicon Valley giant from tyrannizing the happiest place on the internet: the land of GIFs. What with the EU mulling Facebook's acquisition of Kustomer, antitrust prosecutors going after Facebook in the US, and now this issue with Giphy, you …
To quote the creator of the format - "Steve Wilhite created the Graphics Interchange Format, or GIF, while working for Compuserve in 1987. On Tuesday, he received a Webby Award for it and delivered his five-word acceptance speech (that's all the Webbys allow) by flashing a GIF on the big screens at the Cipriani Wall Street in New York.
And, in a flash, it all became clear:
"It's pronounced JIF, not GIF.""
Yup! When you choose to use a GIF, your jraphics card first does the calculations, then passes the image to your monitor, so that you can show that multi-coloured line jraph you created in Excel to your jraphic design department - in order that they know which is the target demojraphic that you want to target your viral marketing GIFs at.
Fecalbook will have already gotten its sticky fingers on the bits of Giphy that they want. Watch out for Giphy like features appearing on FB and everything else controlled by Emperor 'see this fantastic suit' Zuck.
The sooner FB and the rest are shut down, the sooner the mental health of their addicts... sorry users will improve.
Anti-trust and competition regulators have been looking away from Feacebook's acquisitions for so long, they no longer know which way to turn.
The Instagram and Wotsit purchases should never have been allowed to happen but the regulators must have been at the dentist's that day or too busy dealing with envelopes.
Stable doors and all that!
Im still amazed that GIFs are still a thing in 2021, back in the early days of the internet they were used as a fudge to get raster animations onto the web when no other option was available. But they are limited to 256 colours and are not optimised for file sizes.
We have had other more suitable animated graphic formats for years such as MNG and APNG as well as WebP, I wonder why none of these have gained traction despite being technically better?
I think GIF itself is mostly just a generic term now, rather than referring to an actual GIF.
I've seen 'GIF' used quite a lot in forum posts, Reddit etc, e.g. "Here's my GIF of <subject>" etc, and it's usually a small MP4, or some other more modern format, very rarely an actually *.gif file.
Giphy for example, whilst you can still upload actual .gif files, have supported JPG, PNG, MP4 & MOV (and a few other less common file extensions) for years now.
But internally, I suspect Giphy converts all these to WebP files.
i.e. Select an image, select the 'Copy Link', you see a URL and the description 'A link to the GIF image itself', and the URL does have a .gif ending. But open that and you find it's actually HTML with extras, not just the actual image, but then look at the image this time (i.e. Open image in a new tab etc), and this time it's a .webp file with no other extras.
So even Giphy doesn't seem to use actual GIFs!
Facebook has a habit of open sourcing core code while leaving content proprietary. The moment Facebook sells it they can simply create their own competitor using the same backend code and then stop using it as a database on their own platforms, instantly demolishing much of its value (which is derived from integration with popular platforms) in the eyes of potential investors. That wouldn’t improve competition but it could wipe out the ability for competitors in other sectors to outsource said functionality, resulting in less competition.
The UK policing of competition within markets is beyond stupid these days, targeting all the wrong things. They should be banning App Store functionality in favour of pluggable repositories but they don’t, they should be investigating the harm of DRM to consumers but they don’t… they’re just useless.
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