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Introducing Animated GIF Optimization in Akamai Image Manager

August 26, 2019 · by Adrian Willis ·

In addition to optimizing images and video, Akamai Image Manager now optimizes a much-requested format: animated GIFs. This new feature is available for immediate use by Image Manager customers.

astronaut GIF
Exhibit A: This is why GIFs are popular.

Why is this important? It’s no secret that animated GIFs are immensely popular on the web, and getting more popular all the time. There is, however, a major challenge in delivering these files: they can be quite large, which can make them a pain for developers to manage and deliver without adding substantial latency. In fact, Facebook allows up to 8 MB per animated GIF, and we’ve seen many animated GIFs in the 4+ MB range; file sizes like that can make for a very slow website.

Here’s what can Image Manager do to help with your animated GIFs:

  • Intelligent optimization and compression: There’s no need to change the original animated GIF; Image Manager automatically creates all the necessary derivative images while maximizing byte savings.

  • Smart format conversion: Image Manager will automatically convert your animated GIF to an animated WebP file for Chrome browsers. For other browsers, Image Manager retains animated GIF as the output format.

  • Automated output quality: As a file type, animated GIF does not have different quality settings. It is lossy, but Image Manager uses algorithmic values in the optimization process to ensure that the necessary quality is maintained.

Conclusion

As we all know, animated GIFs and their soaring popularity aren’t going away any time soon. Now you have a tool in Image Manager to more effectively optimize, manage, and deliver these popular images — all without requiring you to change anything on your website.

Adrian Willis is a web performance architect at Akamai Technologies.