Surely the rise of Tumblr as a publishing platform enabled massive revival of these simple, yet effective form of animation. Easier to create and especially much easier to distribute than Flash files, animated gifs became the preferred medium for jolly jokers on the internet over the last months, and were an instant hit on humor communities such as 9gag or remix platforms such as canv.as.
Artist Samatha Harvey started experimenting with animated gifs just very recently. She talks about her relation to this media in an interview on triangulation, revealing the whys and hows of it in her art. Good read and we look forward seeing more of her stuff.