Facebook Acquires Giphy, Which Will Become Part of Instagram

The GIF platform's library and APIs will continue to be available to 'the wider ecosystem'

Half of Giphy’s traffic comes from the Facebook family of apps. Giphy
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Facebook has acquired Giphy, and will fold the a GIF library and creator platform into its Instagram team.

Neither company would confirm financial terms of the deal, reportedly worth $400 million, according to Axios.

Giphy said the majority of its team will join Instagram, and senior director of communications Natalie Vegel added, “For those employees who will not be joining Instagram, we’ve taken extra steps to provide them with generous severance packages in order to ensure as much of a smooth career transition path as possible.”

The Giphy staff making the move will eventually relocate to Instagram’s offices in New York (Giphy is also headquartered in the city), but the timing has yet to be determined.

“By bringing Instagram and Giphy together, we can make it easier for people to find the perfect GIFs and stickers in Stories and Direct,” said Facebook vp of product Vishal Shah in a Newsroom post. “Both our services are big supporters of the creator and artist community, and that will continue.”

Already, 50% of Giphy’s traffic comes from Facebook’s group of applications, with Instagram alone accounting for 50% of its parent company’s overall traffic, Shah said.

Giphy’s library will remain widely available, as will its application programming interfaces and software development kits for third-party developers and partners. The library is extensive: Since making its debut in February 2013, Giphy has grown the database to “several trillion” GIFs.

“[F]or our API/SDK partners and developers: Giphy’s GIFs, stickers, emojis, etc. aren’t going anywhere. We will continue to make Giphy openly available to the wider ecosystem,” Giphy said in a blog post,

Snapchat and Twitter declined to comment on whether their relationships with Giphy would be affected by the transaction.

Twitter integrated Giphy into its tweet composer in February 2016, enabling users to add GIFs to tweets, while Snapchat did the same in February 2018.

“We’ve had a lot of fun teaming up with Instagram over the years; Giphy’s stickers were the perfect fit for layering on Instagram Stories, while our GIF search allowed everyone to capture that perfect emotion in Instagram’s DMs,” Giphy said. “Based on the success of those collaborations (and many others), we know that there are exciting times ahead of us.”

At the beginning of last year, Giphy had planned to ramp up its advertising capabilities to compete for digital ad dollars with the likes of Google and its now-parent company Facebook.

“No one’s been able to figure out an intent-based marketing platform,” Giphy founder and CEO Alex Chung told Adweek at the time.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.