Paddy Johnson has a post on PBS's rather awful, inaccurate, commercially-oriented documentary short on animated GIFs. She has made a Google document of the show's transcript where people can pick their bones with the content on a line by line basis.
Most people interviewed on the show have a business interest in GIFs, either through involvement with a social media site ("you can use GIFs to enhance your persona!") or in their day jobs in fashion and/or photography. Nothing inherently wrong with that but it explains much of the "new art form/unexplored country" rhetoric you hear over and over -- that's pure bizspeak. One interviewee has some academic affiliation and says all the wonky historical stuff (interestingly, he's the only one who doesn't call them "jifs"). His wonkery is misleading for reasons being explored in the Google doc. I've added a couple of comments to that doc and will do a post later summarizing some of the errors and wrong impressions created by PBS on the topic of GIFs.
Also, if I can find any fashion GIFs that load reasonably quickly, will try to do an analysis of the claims that they are art. On PBS they blow by very quickly, making it difficult to test what at least one interviewee says about watching GIFs repeatedly and finding new meanings in them.
Update: PBS or PBS contractor.