Facebook Buys Giphy to Combine It with Instagram

UTC by Teuta Franjkovic · 3 min read
Facebook Buys Giphy to Combine It with Instagram
Photo: Depositphotos

Facebook has long used Giphy’s application program interface throughout its main Facebook app, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Now Facebook is acquiring Giphy.

American social media and technology company Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) announced it is acquiring the popular GIF-making and sharing website Giphy for a reported price of $400 million. As per the announcement, Facebook plans to integrate the massive GIF library in its system and afterward transfer them into Instagram and other Facebook applications.

Giphy is one of the largest GIF sites that exist on the web and is offering tools for creating, sharing, and remixing GIFs. Facebook has already been known to be pretty much confident in Giphy’s API for sourcing GIFs in its apps for years: Instagram, the main Facebook app, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp are all already working with the service. As per the Facebook statement, 50 percent of all of Giphy’s traffic comes exactly from its apps, and more than half of that is coming just from Instagram alone.

Facebook Will Integrate Giphy with Instagram

Under the new landlord, Giphy will now become a part of the Instagram family, with the focus on enabling users to send GIFs and stickers in Instagram stories and direct messages even easier and much simpler than until now.

Currently, Facebook claims things will stay the way they were for Giphy users.

Vishal Shah, Instagram’s VP of product, said:

“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.”

Be it as it may, the truth is that plenty of services are sort of depending on Giphy’s API for supplying GIFs, including Twitter, Pinterest, Slack, Reddit, and others. While Facebook’s announcement seems to be saying that those services will still be able to reckon on Giphy as they currently do, at least for now, there may be some extra pressure with those services going further if we consider the fact that some of them are pretty much Facebook’ hard competitors.

Regulators Urged to Investigate Acquisition

However, as always, there were a lot of obstacles on the way. The American Economic Liberties Project, a Washington-based antitrust advocacy group, pushed regulators to investigate and even block the buyout.

Economic Liberties Executive Director Sarah Miller stated:

“The Facebook-Giphy merger is just the latest example of the Federal Trade Commission standing by while Facebook and Google centralize control over online communications.”

Let’s just mention that back in 2018, Alphabet’s Google acquired GIF platform Tenor and integrated it into its image search function. For that venture, Miller claimed it had almost sabotaged the ambitious market Giphy had itself made.

A Facebook spokesman answered that Giphy’s contemporary assimilations with social networks as are Twitter, Snapchat, and ByteDance’s TikTok would not become different than it already had. The spokesman also said GIFs don’t contain any possible online tracking mechanisms as are, for example, pixels or cookies. Those two were always a kind of concern for privacy backers who were always vigilant of Facebook’s combative portfolio of personal data for use in targeted marketing. The Federal Trade Commission, of course, did not want to comment on those questions.

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Teuta Franjkovic

Experienced creative professional focusing on financial and political analysis, editing daily newspapers and news sites, economical and political journalism, consulting, PR and Marketing. Teuta’s passion is to create new opportunities and bring people together.

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