Threaded through these plugs are my gripes about the light weight of concepts such as GIFs of the Day, so you can't say Johnson turns a hearing-impaired ear to her critics.
The short answer to the title of the artnet piece is, "No, not if you say GIFs peaked two years ago."
I don't agree at all that "the popularity of Dump.fm was just beginning to fade" in 2012 -- the site is going strong even if Johnson isn't visiting -- or with most of this paragraph:
And while that mentality seems very much behind the rise of the art GIF party, sustained growth at the level seen in 2012 seems almost impossible. The Dump.fm community has shrunk over the years, and nobody I spoke to uses Google+ anymore. “I really do think of that first summer with Google+ as a beautiful era for GIFs,” [Anthony] Antonellis recalled. “It did something more than Dump.fm could,” he said, referring to the extended time users had to respond to posts. Google+ acted more like a blog than Dump’s chat room.
Antonellis belongs to the moribund Google+ GIF posse (where GIFs never looked good at all) and in his maudlin lament for the demise of that one-off proposition attempts to drag Dump.fm down with him. Sadly, Johnson goes along with this false narrative. It doesn't need to be stated that the GIFs of the day, week, year and decade that post like clockwork on tommoody.us mostly originate with Dump.fm, not Google+, and that the quality and energy is unabated, no matter what sad-sacks who trusted a big company to host their social experience around GIFs might say.
Update: Another G+ moaner in the article is Andrew Benson. Apparently he comes to GIFs from the film world, so you can pretty much discount what he says about art GIFs, including his statements such as "I feel like there’s not a good way to view [GIFs] in the gallery setting” and that a web browser is “a pretty terrible art viewing context.” According to who else? Benson also chimed in helpfully on Nicholas O'Brien's post about NEW INC, the art incubator: "I feel like we are in need of more experiments in survival, going outside the existing structures, and challenging assumed cultural barriers." Meaning it's OK to develop art like a product, with a venture capitalist's expectation of return on investment.