Facebook has announced that it’s buying GIPHY, a popular online platform for creating and hosting animated GIFs and short videos. While the social networking giant didn’t disclose the value of the transaction, reporting by Axios points to a $400 million deal.
The acquisition will bring GIPHY into Facebook’s Instagram team, which is responsible for most of the traffic to GIPHY in the first place. The GIF hosting service is used by many online platforms to let users post quick reactions, and Facebook says half of the traffic to GIPHY already comes from its own services, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. Instagram alone accounts for half of Facebook’s traffic to GIPHY, which might explain why it’s joining the Instagram team.
According to Facebook’s announcement, there will be no immediate impact on how GIPHY works. Those using the service’s APIs will continue to be able to do so, and it will still be possible for anyone to upload GIFs to it. All the company is saying is that the two companies hope to “accelerate how people use visual communication”, with no details as to what that entails.
As noted by Axios, the move could help GIPHY become a more profitable platform thanks to Facebook’s huge presence in the advertising space. Currently, the service relies on branded content for revenue.