One of Facebook’s largest and most notable acquisitions in recent memory is for a service commonly used to find reaction GIFs for funny memes. Giphy is a platform where users can create and share their own GIFs of whatever it is they want – from TV show snippets to baby’s eating lemons or cats texting.
Facebook says it had acquired Giphy and that the service will soon become part of the social media titan’s Instagram team – making it far easier for users to find relevant GIFs for their stories and direct messages.
While the rumoured price tag may sound steep for a platform used to find and send GIFs of Ryan Reynolds dressed up in scrubs saying ‘But why?’, it is, in fact, less than what the platform was valued at in prior funding rounds – $600-million.
Founded in 2013, the platform was already offering stickers on Instagram Stories and a GIF search function for Instagram DMs. While Giphy has its own app, its GIFs are commonly used on other services, including workplace chat app Slack and Apple’s iMessage feature. Facebook did not say whether it will continue to integrate with those other services.
Giphy also has a searchable online database and will continue to operate its own library. Facebook says people will still be able to upload GIFs and that “GIPHY’s creative community will still be able to create great content.”
Facebook says in a blog post that half of Giphy’s traffic already comes from Facebook-owned apps, Facebook also suggests that Giphy’s core function as a GIF-sharing app across social media would not change and that developers will “continue to have the same access” to its services.
Since the acquisition on Friday, many members of the US Congress have claimed that the move is another way for the social network to “take our data”, reports The Verge.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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