Animated gifs have made a comeback in recent time. Not on personal homepages but as short viral video clips that get posted in the hundreds each day on sites such as Reddit, 4Chan or Imgur.
While some are trying to kill animated gifs for good, by replacing them with HTML5 videos, it is likely that the format is not going anywhere in the near future.
All modern browsers play animated gifs just fine and so do the majority of media players. This leaves little room for a desktop program dedicated to playing these animations.