Facebook is reportedly buying Giphy, the popular GIF-image making website. The price of the deal is reported to be $400 million. Further, the company is planning to integrate Giphy’s huge library of GIFs with its social media app Instagram, and of course, other Facebook applications.
Under the new deal, Giphy will live on as part of the Instagram team, reports The Verge. The website’s goal of making easy GIFs and being able to find them quickly will live on under the new structure. This will also make it easier to send GIFs in Instagram stories and direct messages. Facebook has also claimed that things will be the same for existing Giphy users.
In a blog post, Instagram’s VP of Products Vishal Shah said third party firms would still have access to Giphy’s library of GIFs and stickers. But many of those sites including Twitter and Pinterest are direct competitors to Facebook.
A Graphical Interchange Format or GIF is an animated image or short soundless video that plays on a continuous loop without requiring the viewer to press play. They are often used on social media or messaging app to convey an emotion or joke.
Mr. Shah wrote Giphy’s animated images made “conversations more entertaining” and said its library would be integrated into Instagram and Facebook’s other platforms. Giphy is one of the largest sites for creating these images and storing them. Its main competitor is Imgur. Facebook said 50% of Giphy’s traffic already came from its platforms and half of that was from Instagram.
Giphy provides built-in search and sticker functions for Facebook’s Instagram, and it will continue to operate in that capacity, becoming a part of the Instagram team. Giphy will also be available to Facebook’s other apps through existing and additional integrations. People will still be able to upload their own GIFs, and Facebook intends to continue to operate Giphy under its own branding and offer integration to outside developers.
Facebook says it will invest in additional tech development for Giphy, as well as build out new relationships for it on both the content side and the endpoint developer side. The company says that fully 50% of traffic that Giphy receives already comes from Facebook’s apps, including Instagram, Messenger, the FB app itself, and WhatsApp.
Giphy was founded in 2013 and was originally simply a search engine for gifs. The website’s first major product expansion was an extension that allowed sharing via Facebook, introduced later in its founding year, and it quickly added Twitter as a second integration. According to the most recent data from Crunchbase, Giphy had raised $150.9 million across five rounds, backed by funders including DFJ Growth, Lightspeed, Betaworks, GV, Lerer Hippeau and more.