Facebook Inc is acquiring popular animated image-making and sharing platform Giphy and will merge it with the photo-sharing app Instagram. In the blog post shared by Facebook on its website on Friday, the social media platform asserted that by bringing Instagram and Giphy together, they are looking forward to ensuring a better app experience for millions of its users through ease in sharing GIFs and stickers in Stories and Direct. In the statement, the American tech giant stated that “50% of Giphy’s traffic comes from the Facebook family of apps (Messenger, WhatsApp among other), half of that coming from Instagram alone”.
As per a report by news website Axios, Facebook is buying Giphy at a cost of around $400 billion.
Founded in 2013, Giphy started as a free to use depository of animated GIFs. But it has developed to be a key search engine for sharable images after integration with social media platforms including Facebook, and other popular apps on the internet. As per media reports, Facebook has stated that it will invest in enhancing the technological development of the search engine to establish new relationships from both content and endpoint developer sides.
However, several experts have raised the issues with Facebook’s privacy in the wake of the merger with Giphy. Responding to the development, Giphy reportedly maintained that the company will continue to make GIFs openly available to its wide ecosystem. Both Facebook Inc and Giphy assured that the latter’s outside partners will continue to have the same proximity of access to its API and library. Evidently, from now on, Facebook will be keeping a track of all the integrations.
Due to certain antitrust concerns, American Economic Liberties Project, a Washington-based antitrust advocacy group, has urged regulators to investigate and halt Giphy’s acquisition by Facebook.
Giphy’s head of content Tyler Menzel also took to Twitter to clarify that the media platform will not be taking down GIFs, specifically of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He added that the teams are looking into issues, but not taking down any content immediately.
In 2018, Alphabet Inc’s Google acquired Tenor, another GIF sharing platform, integrating its interface with its image search function.
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