Facebook Acquires Giphy for $400 Million



(Image: FB Newsroom)

Facebook has bought Giphy, the company that makes animated gifs that are used on social media chats, for $400 million. Giphy is the search engine site for communicating animatedly any shorthand reaction that you want to send on chats on social media.

Facebook plans to integrate Giphy with Instagram but it will still be an independent entity, said a blog post by Facebook on Friday.

“People will still be able to upload GIFs; developers and API partners will continue to have the same access to Giphy’s APIs, and Giphy’s creative community will still be able to create great content,” Vishal Shah, Instagram’s VP of product, said in a blog post announcing the news.

GIFs and stickers give people meaningful and creative ways to express themselves. It is visual animated communication that is a fun way to connect with friends and used by millions of people. Giphy offers tools for creating, sharing and mixing GIFs. Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp already use GIFs from Giphy’s API. According to Facebook, 50 percent of all of Giphy’s traffic comes from its apps, with half of that coming from Instagram alone.

The GIF library will be integrated into Instagram and other Facebook apps so that people can find just the right way to express themselves.

The buyout may upset some other competing apps like Twitter, Pinterest, Slack, Reddit, and more, which use Giphy’s GIFs as well. So far, Facebook has indicated that things will not change much for these services as Giphy will continue to operate as before. But it is not clear for how long this may last.

People are also worried that Facebook’s takeover will change the way GIFs will be available for users, and it may also create privacy issues. “Many have reached out to ask whether we should be concerned about Giphy search in Signal,” tweeted Moxie Marlinspike, one of the app’s cofounders, before assuring users that the privacy-focused messaging service already prevents “GIF search providers from receiving user data.”

Another concern is the way Facebook collects data and uses it for advertisement and other user behavior tracking purposes. Facebook says it will not collect information specific to individual people using Giphy’s API. But it will surely get valuable data about usage patterns across the web.

The Giphy team also assured its API/SDK partners and developers that GIPHY’s GIFs, Stickers, Emojis, etc. will remain intact and will be openly available to the wider ecosystem.

In a post on Medium, Giphy has expressed its happiness over joining with Facebook Instagram, “Instagram has revolutionized self-expression. More than 1 billion people use Instagram to communicate how they’re feeling and what they’re passionate about — we can’t wait to help those people become even more animated! We’ve had a lot of fun teaming up with Instagram over the years; GIPHY’s Stickers were the perfect fit for layering on Instagram Stories, while our GIF search allowed everyone to capture that perfect emotion in Instagram’s DMs. Based on the success of those (and many others) we know that there are exciting times ahead of us.”

 Giphy was founded by Alex Chung and Jace Coke in February 2013 as a search engine for GIFs. The platform attracted around a million users during its first week of operation. The same year it expanded its reach on Facebook and Twitter and now users could post embed, and share GIFs on these sites

In March 2015, Giphy acquired Nutmeg— a GIF messaging service. It launched the Giphy + Messenger app that integrated with Facebook Messenger. This partnership allowed Giphy to expand to some exclusive apps that were debuting on the Facebook Messenger platform.

In August 2015, Giphy launched a new app, “Giphy Cam”, which allowed users to create and share GIFs on a social network.


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