Converting plain GIF files into looped MP4 videos is Web- and mobile-friendly approach, pioneered by Gfycat, Imgur and Twitter. Iframely does the same.
Here’s why. MP4 version is nearly 10 times smaller:
Iframely MP4, 298Kb
Original GIF, 2.7Mb
Try clicking on Iframely version above - you'll see that your clicks pause and resume the playback.
Iframely downloads the original GIF file, transcodes it and serves as video in our iFrames helper to save some bandwidth for your users. We call it GIFV - the name suggested by Imgur for such "GIF Videos".
How to activate
Support for GIFVs is turned on by default. In your settings, you can disable GIF files as allowed media types. If your plan doesn't include GIFVs, Iframely will consider them disabled too.
While transcoding may take a few seconds, depending on the GIF size, our iFrames may initially use original GIF file until after the MP4 file is ready.
You can make GIFs to not load at all until user interacts with it first. Just activate click-to-play for them in your players settings. On desktop, click-to-play starts GIFV when user hovers it. On mobile - when user clicks it. For example,
Click-to-play is the default behaviour of converted GIFs on mobile devices that don't support autoplaying MP4 videos (say, all WebViews in iOS apps as of April 2018).