Sunday, May 12, 2013

Are animated images the future of sports/news reporting?

The launch of Vine.co (a Twitter company) which allows people to upload 6 seconds videos has resulted in unexpected innovation elsewhere in sports reporting. While Vine videos are in flash with audio, some sites are innovating by uploading short clips in an animated Gif format.

One site that does this regularly is Business Insider. I have uploaded one pic from their site below, you can see more on this link














Let's analyse the pros and cons of this format

Pros
  • Image format and can be viewed in any browser
  • Useful when no audio input is required
  • Seems to be very good for sports reporting like Goals scored and for showing fallen wickets in cricket matches. I watch this site regularly for football goals.
Cons
  • No audio
  • The image can be heavy, may take a long time to load. The above one is 2MB in size, not bad on slow connections but more than one image may be a drain. Higher quality images can be anywhere between 7-10MB
  • Can be irritating to see this constantly moving while you are reading an article.
  • Cannot be paused
While this is a very old technology and nothing great, from a usability perspective this seems to be very good as one doesn't need to have a player. 

I won't be surprised to see many News and sports websites use this format as bandwidth keeps getting cheaper.




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