From IndieWeb

Kapowski was a Micropub client for posting animated GIFs to your website using Micropub, powered by Gfycat search.

Kapowski is written in PHP and hosted at https://kapowski.bayside.pub/

GIF provider Gfycat shut down on September 1, 2023, making Kapowski non-functional.


Kapowski supported:

  • searching Gfycat for GIFs (until September 1, 2023)
  • creating photo posts via Micropub
  • without signing in, users are shown an HTML snippet they can copy/paste to their site.

IndieWeb Examples

People using Kapowski to post to their website:


Alternate source(s) needed for GIFs

With Gfycat shutting down (Techcrunch coverage) it's time for another source for GIFs. Options include:

Improve performance with video instead of image

The GIF format is bandwidth-intensive and low on features such as controls to pause playback. Most "GIF" implementations actually use video formats to deliver smaller files, often with the HTML <video> element. For best browser support, this might actually look like:

<video controls autoplay loop muted playsinline
  <source src="my-animation.webm" type="video/webm">
  <source src="my-animation.mp4" type="video/mp4">
  <img src="my-animation-fallback.gif" />
<div id="video-label" aria-hidden="true">
  text alternative goes here

Cross-site plumbing challenge

Kapowski is designed for posting reaction GIFs - responses that might show up in the comments section of a post on someone else's site.

Currently Kapowski creates photo reply posts by using the fact that GIF is an image format, so sites that support photo replies should show them as normal. Video replies don't seem to have any consensus support.

Can we design a markup format that is likely to survive being processed as a Webmention and sanitized for display? There is certainly no microformats convention for describing the various combinations of available video and image formats as well as descriptive alternate text. In theory this kind of HTML would pass fine as an e-content, but it's likely that receiving sites would see these posts as comments and display an plain text comment, the result of stripping HTML.

Resources for deploying GIFs as video


2022-09-16 The Guardian: ‘Gifs are cringe’: how Giphy’s multimillion-dollar business fell out of fashion.

Beyond initial experimentation, Kapowski does not appear to have wide adoption or a vocal user base. It's possible that the IndieWeb community is not interested in the kinds of interaction implied by "reaction GIFs".

Want to support sending and receiving GIFs on your site? Let Marty McGuire know in the chat!

See Also