Tech

Facebook is taking over gif maker Giphy to expand its empire

Facebook pays according to the American news website Axios about 400 million dollars (or 370 million euros) for Giphy, but Facebook does not want to confirm that. Giphy is a popular database of gif animations for social media and chat apps. The platform will be hosted by Instagram, which was also acquired by Facebook in 2012.

Gifs are motion pictures without sound and are often used on various social media. The name gif is short for graphics interchange format.

Private messages become a priority

Giphy was founded in 2013 to distribute gifs. Gifs are file formats that make it possible to share movies without sound. Facebook has been using it for years in the apps Instagram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. According to Facebook, 50 percent of Giphy’s data traffic comes from Facebook apps.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook
(source: ISOPIX)

Now that Facebook has acquired Giphy, the platform will be placed under Instagram. The goal is to more easily send gifs and stickers on Instagram stories and regular Instagram posts. Mark Zuckerberg has made private messages a priority. Although Instagram is currently very popular, the acquisition of Giphy has yet to increase the popularity of the social network. Facebook does not want to present Giphy exclusively to its own services. So for users of the Giphy app, nothing will change in the end.

Tension with competitors

Vishal Shah, CPO at Instagram
(source: ISOPIX)

“People can still upload gifs, developers and API partners will still have access to the same Giphy APIs, and Giphy itself will still be able to create fun content.” That said Vishal Shah, CPO at Instagram, in a blog post announcing the news of the acquisition.

Facebook and its apps are not the only platforms that use a lot of gifs. Twitter, Pinterest, Slack, Reddit and many others do the same. Although Facebook indicates that these platforms will still be able to use Giphy, tension may arise in the future. Many of those platforms are a direct competitor to Facebook.

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