While it is not possible to directly upload a GIF file onto your Facebook profile or wall, there are some applications you can link with your Facebook page that will allow you to link to animated pictures. 'Animated Picture' (apps.facebook.com/animated-picture) is an example of one of these. The Animated Picture app allows you to send animated GIF files and MP3 music files to your wall and profile. This application does have restrictions however as you can only send the available files that the app supports. Using Animated Picture does not allow you to upload your own GIF file. The animations you can send are in their hundreds and fall into the categories; cute animals, people, love, calligraphy, nature, self expression and food.
GIF files are Graphics Interchange Formats. It is a bitmap image format that were introduced by CompuServe in 1987. Since, it's popularity has increased rapidly and it has come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web. It's wide support and portability makes it compatible with a variety of programmes and browsers and can be uploaded and sent quickly and efficiently by users. The format supports up to 8 bits per pixel, this means that a single image can reference a palette of up to 256 unique colours. This small range of colours is chosen from the 24-but RGB colour space. GIF files also support animation and each frame from the moving image has its own separate 256 colour palette. As there is a great limitation of colours for GIF format files, they are not suitable for reproducing colour photographs. GIF files are however well suited for showing simpler images such as graphics or logos that have solid areas of colour. GIF files are compressed using the lossless data compression technique known as Lempel-Ziv-Welch. This technique allows users to reduce the file size without degrading the visual quality.