Facebook has confirmed that it has acquired the popular GIF service Giphy, paying around $400 million for the website and dedicated applications across iOS, Android, and iMessage.
The company revealed that the first phase of its work with Giphy was to tie in the platform to Instagram, though it’s unknown exactly how far the company will go, and whether Giphy will remain its own entity and offer GIFs and searching functionality or be permanently shuttered.
— Facebook (@Facebook) May 15, 2020
According to insiders, Facebook had been in talks to purchase the site for months before the coronavirus, though a partnership was originally planned rather than an acquisition.
Speaking in a blog post, Facebook said: “A lot of people in our community already know and love GIPHY.
In fact, 50% of GIPHY’s traffic comes from the Facebook family of apps, half of that from Instagram alone.
“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.”
Facebook has also confirmed that, for the time being, Giphy’s API will remain open to third parties – but as we’ve seen in the past, this could change as the company repositions itself.
“We’ve used GIPHY’s API for years, not just on Instagram, but in the Facebook app, Messenger and WhatsApp.
“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.”
Since news of Facebook’s acquisition broke, thousands of users have revealed they have deleted the app from their smartphones and are now looking to alternatives.
Apple, too, has its own GIF-searching feature inside of iMessage, which may prove to be a useful feature.
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