We get a lot of questions about our URL generation conventions. As you may have noticed, Gfycats are named using the convention “AdjectiveAdjectiveAnimal.” This is a loooong-standing practice of ours, dating way back to when Gfycat was two guys working out of a garage on weekends. We decided to do this because it makes remembering a URL much easier for humans, while still allowing for billions of unique GIF names. It’s way easier to remember, for instance, JealousEssentialCrab than G1XeD4SwlHReDA.
We were one of the first sites to use procedural generation in our URLs, and lately we’ve started to see other sites using it as well. It’s not surprising, since procedural generation is well-suited to applications where lots of URLs or usernames are generated, but each needs to be distinct and memorable. As usual we seem to be ahead of the curve ;)
Our URLs have the added benefit of being occasionally apt, hilarious, or meta. For instance, DOTA2 commentator ReDeYe made famous the line “Brutal. Savage. Rekt.” The moment quickly became a Gfycat, with the URL NippyKindLangur. Soon the phrase “NippyKindLangur” became A Thing on DOTA2 message boards.
Someone requested that ReDeYe say “Nippy Kind Langur” on the air, and he obliged. We got a request to make that into a GIF with the Gfycat URL custom matched to “Brutal Savage Rekt,” and we also obliged. (https://gfycat.com/BrutalSavageRekt)
This was the first time we’d ever done a vanity URL, but we made the change. (If you want your own vanity URL, too damn bad. It’s a lot of hassle for us and we’re only going to do it in exceptional circumstances.) Then ReDeYe tweeted this whole story:
So, there you have it. Normal URLs are boring. Long live AdjectiveAdjectiveAnimal.