Facebook bought GIPHY for $400 million Friday, with plans to more tightly integrate with Instagram. Axios was the first to report the deal.
“By bringing Instagram and GIPHY together, we can make it easier for people to find the perfect GIFs and stickers in Stories and Direct,” Facebook said in a blog post announcing the acquisition.
Facebook’s family of apps already accounts for half of GIPHY's traffic. People can reply to messages with GIPHY-supplied GIFs and insert them into their stories.
Instagram has also dabbled in GIF-like formats. It created a GIF-like app, Boomerang, in 2015 that became incredibly popular prior to the launch of Instagram Stories a year later.
Post-acquisition, Facebook will bolster the integrations between GIPHY and Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and Messenger. Facebook also will rely on the creativity of the GIPHY team – perhaps to come up with new ideas.
“Bringing the GIPHY team’s creativity and talent together with ours will only accelerate how people use visual communication to connect with each other,” Facebook said.
Prior to its acquisition, GIPHY was valued at $600 million in its last funding round, according to Axios.
GIPHY's revenue model focused on branded content. Brands such as W Hotels could create their own GIFs and seed them out to the GIPHY community. Later, Giphy ensured those GIFs were viewable through a partnership with Moat.
Although GIPHY is becoming part of Facebook, it will continue to openly integrate with non-Facebook apps and services. And creators can continue to make and upload GIFs to its platform, GIPHY assured its fans in its own blog post.