Facebook just bought GIPHY, the world’s leading GIF platform, for a reported $400 million. From here on out, GIPHY is part of Facebook’s Instagram team. Facebook says that GIPHY won’t fundamentally change, but will see deeper integration in Instagram Stories, Facebook messenger, and WhatsApp.
GIPHY isn’t just some standalone GIF website. It’s a service that’s integrated into most social media apps. Facebook says that around 25% of GIPHY’s traffic comes from Instagram, but the service is also baked into sites like Twitter, Reddit, and Pinterest. It’s hard to imagine these Facebook competitors will react to the buyout.
That said, GIPHY won’t face any fundamental changes (for now). Facebook plans to keep the GIPHY website open to the public and will continue working with API partners to deepen GIPHY integration on non-Facebook apps.
Social media companies that want to avoid the Facebook-owned GIPHY may move to Gfycat, a similar service that offers its API to approved developers. But Facebook might convince its competitors to stick with GIPHY by offering strong development support. We’ll just have to wait and see.