HubPages converts all .png and .gif images to .jpeg format, and appears to use some aggressive compression. Jpeg might be okay for photos, but for things like website or computer program screenshots, or clip art (containing large solid-color areas and text) the result is often very poor, even if the uploaded image is in the "optimal" width of 520px or 260px. (In fact, I avoid uploading larger non-photo images, because resizing them in XnView on my computer gives a better result than the HubPages resizer).
Gif or png format not only results in a much higher quality for this type of images, they will often be smaller too, sometimes several times.
We suggest in the FAQ to upload images at least 1000 pixels wide.
I also +1 carny's original suggestion. I really wanted to upload a moving .gif file, but because of the automatic conversion, it became a still image, thus negating the effect I was looking for in the first place. I think there should be a way for this kind of "video" to be posted, because the video capsule won't accept .gif.
+1 this suggestion.
This would improve the quality of images for people whose hubs contain technical diagrams. As it is, I've just been making them really large to begin with to mitigate the effects of jpeg compression, but you're right that in many cases of diagrams the png file size is actually way smaller than the jpeg it's automatically converted to.
Fair enough, but I really wanted to talk about the advantages of PNG or GIF formats for certain images. Here's an example.
This is the original image in .png format, it's lossless and takes up only 12,54 KB:
Same image uploaded to HubPages, not only it looks worse (visible artifacts around the text), it now takes up 47,79 KB:
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