What is a cinemagraph?
A cinemagraph is a living image - a still photograph that contains an element of movement lopped seamlessly to create a never ending moment.
History of cinemagraphs
The first cinemagraph was created by Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg in early 2011 and they coined the term "cinemagraph" in March of that year. Cinemagraphs began through a series of experiments using existing video content but the medium began when Beck and Burg captured imagery specifically for creating cinemagraphs. Since then cinemagraphs have evolved and gained a wide audience, appearing online, on television and in advertising.
Gifs vs other formats
The first cinemagraphs were created in the gif format out of practicality for sharing online, but because of the limitations of the gif format we often employ HTML5 video to display cinemagraphs at much higher quality and smaller file sizes. Cinemagraphs are not tied to any one file format — the way in which they're displayed determines which format is best suited.