You could accomplish many of the goals of the way I use GIFs with inline videos or links to Youtube/Vimeo. However, I find that in many cases the result of a simple focused GIF is far better than a video. Firstly, they don’t require fancy hosting or embed codes to work. Any modern browser can display them inline. Their short, looping nature also make it really easy to immediately get the gist of what the video is trying to communicate. They also take far less time to create than a polished video.