Facebook has snapped up GIF-making and sharing platform GIPHY in a deal, according to Axios, worth $400m.
In an announcement from Vishal Shah, VP of Product
, it was revealed that the link between the two companies was already pretty tight pre-purchase. Around 50% of Giphy’s traffic comes from the ‘Facebook family of apps’, including WhatsApp and Instagram – and Giphy’s API has been integrated into Facebook Messenger and the ‘gram for several years.
“By bringing Instagram and GIPHY together, we can make it easier for people to find the perfect GIFs and stickers in Stories and Direct. Both our services are big supporters of the creator and artist community, and that will continue. Together, we can make it easier for anyone to create and share their work with the world,” said Shah, explaining the reasoning for the purchase.
Looking to the future, Shah reassured users that GIPHY's functionality will remain in tact while hinting at developments and investment down the line. “GIPHY will continue to operate its library (including its global content collection), and we’re looking forward to investing further in its technology and relationships with content and API partners. 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.”
With the acquisition Facebook will be hoping that GIFs continue to have currency as a means of visual communication online. It's a timely move as Facebook rival TikTok has dominated lockdown life – as restrictions lift and certain countries return to offices and schools, will the quickly accessed, pointed GIF wrest its crown from the more time-intensive TikTok video?