Similar to infographics... they use video footage or animation to create motion. They also combine audio, which makes them closer to a film.
The term 'multimedia' might also be appropriate. But again, we’re getting into semantics. So, let’s just say that Motion Graphics move on their own, and are displayed through some sort of electronic media.
The history of Motion Graphics dates back to the 1800s. Early presentations like flip books or zoetropes were, by definition, Motion Graphics. But generally, the term "Motion Graphics" follow in the tradition of John Whitney.
John Whitney, one of the fathers of computer animation, and perhaps the first to use the term "Motion Graphics"... Formed a company called Motion Graphics Inc. By the 1970s, Whitney was using digital processes, and modern Motion Graphics was born.
Before computers, Motion Graphics were costly and time-consuming. But the availability of desktop programs like Adobe Flash and After Effects... have made it accessible to all. The top app for Motion Graphic designs is probably Adobe After Effects, which works a bit like Photoshop.
Of course, new products come along all the time. What they all have in common is the ability to combine Video, Text, Speech, Data-Visualization, Special-Effects and 3D to create animations. The goal is to add the elements of space and time. And, to breathe life into static content.
Motion Graphics are not only created digitally. Traditional animation can also be used. But web-based data visualization tools are making it easier, cheaper, and with less effort than ever.