There was a time when GIF was among the most popular file image formats on the web and PNG staggered somewhere far behind. Things have changed fast over the recent months and PNG has overtaken GIF in terms of usage and popularity. Currently, 62.4% websites use PNG compared to 62.3% that make use of GIF.
The difference is quite minute, indeed. But when we see that only one year ago, GIF was leading by a margin of 15%, it shows how quickly PNG has caught up with it.
PNG was originally created because back in the years, GIF format was riddled with patent issues. GIF continues to be used widely still, although it has lost a significant portion of its popularity. Moreover, the chief use to which it was put had traditionally been to create animations. However, image animations are no longer cool and hip on the internet and thus, we may see a further decline in GIF’s usage over the coming years.
PNG, on the other hand, supports lossless image compression and allows the creation of files which are smaller in size. This makes it easier for webmasters to upload PNG files to the web, compared to GIF files. Also, if there is a need for the creation of an animation, webmasters choose Flash over GIF.
Whereas PNG has taken the overall lead, GIF continues to be more popular on the top 1,000 websites. That, too, is expected to change over the coming days. As a greater portion of the web embraces PNG, even the top websites will be forced to make the transition. And although we can expect GIF to stay around for a long while still, it may become irrelevant eventually.