Everybody loves a good GIF. Oxford American Dictionary even proclaimed “GIF” the word of the year for 2012. Now Ultralab, a small tech company based in Minsk, Belarus, is betting on the popularity of the GIF in 2013.
In late February, the company will launch Gifstory, a new app that will make it easier to create GIFs.
“The medium of photography is going to be obsolete,” says Ultralab CEO Eugene Valuev, in perhaps a small bit of overstatement. “With GIFs, instead of seeing just one image, you get a richer experience with 50 or 60 pictures in the same time span.”
Described as “Instagram for animated GIFs,” Gifstory allows users to shoot up to 4 seconds of animated GIFS, select 1 of 13 filters, and then share their original GIF via social networks.
Although it’s been compared to Cinemagram, Valuev says the two apps are quite different.
“Cinemagrams are like photos with parts moving, but Gifstory is more like short video clips,” Valuev explains.
Valuev sees the main appeal of GIFs as the fact that they are richer than photographs, but require less time than videos. “There is no sound. It doesn’t distract you too much. But you get a richer experience than a photo,” he says. “You can tell small stories.”