Facebook has announced today its acquisition of seven-year-old GIPHY — an online GIF database, enabling users to search for and share short, soundless, looping videos — for a reported $400 million.
Facebook said it will integrate New York-based GIPHY into its Instagram unit — though the GIPHY product will continue to be available across Facebook’s entire family of apps, including Messenger and WhatsApp. In announcing the acquisition, Facebook noted that 50% of GIPHY’s traffic already hails from Facebook apps, with 25% coming from Instagram alone — with predominant use in Instagram Stories and DMs.
GIPHY will continue to oversee and operate its GIF library, people will still be able to create and upload GIFs, and developers and API partners will continue to be able to access GIPHY’s API — meaning that GIPHY content will still be accessible on competing platforms like Twitter and Slack.
“GIFs and stickers give people meaningful and creative ways to express themselves,” Facebook’s VP of product, Vishal Shah, wrote in a company blog post. “We see the positivity in how people use GIPHY in our products today, and we know that bringing the GIPHY team’s creativity and talent together with ours will only accelerate how people use visual communication to connect with each other.”
Axios reports that the two companies began talks prior to the pandemic — though the discussions involved collaboration moreso than an outright purchase. Per Techcrunch, Facebook approached GIPHY about an acquisition in 2015, though the company instead opted to pursue a $17 million VC round. GIPHY has raised $150 million in venture funding to date, and was most recently valued at roughly $600 million, per Axios.