It's not often we celebrate the birthday of a file format, but we're making a special exception for the GIF, which was created on June 15th, 1987 — making today its 25th birthday. Compuserve originally introduced the GIF; former chief technology officer Alexander Trevor recently told The Daily Dot that "if you want lossless, compressed graphics, there is nothing better than GIF," but the file format has evolved significantly since those beginnings. It has seen a lot of ups and downs since being introduced: while it was widely used as a more versatile and lossless alternative to the JPEG, it also became an overused eyesore on the Geocities sites that propagated throughout the internet in the 90s. That's all changed in the last decade or so — a well-placed GIF is an internet delight, and can even catapult its creator to minor fame.
To celebrate, The Daily Dot has put together a GIF retrospective, complete with custom 25th birthday GIFs from Chris Torres (creator of Nyan Cat), Olia Lialina (GIF artist who has had her creations preserved by Cornell University), John McGregor (who immortalizes vintage video games in GIF form), and more. They're all worth a look — it helps illustrate the incredible diversity that can be found in the GIF community. And, if you have a GIF that's been particularly meaningful to you over the years, we encourage you to share it in our forum thread celebrating 25 years of the GIF.