Facebook has just bought the popular GIF hosting platform GIPHY. In a blog post, GIPHY said it will be integrated into the Instagram team.
While both companies have confirmed the deal, they haven’t disclosed the amount. A report by Axios suggests Facebook bough GIPHY for $400 million.
GIPHY‘s API is quite popular amongst social networks. Facebook already uses it in its other products such as Messenger and WhatsApp for GIF search. Several other social networks such as Twitter, Reddit, and Slack also rely on GIPHY‘s APIs for their GIF-related features
In a statement, Vishal Shah, VP of Product at Instagram, said GIPHY will continue to operate its library, and developers will have same access to GIPHY‘s APIs as before:
GIPHY will continue to operate its library (including its global content collection), and we’re looking forward to investing further in its technology and relationships with content and API partners. People will still be able to upload GIFs; developers and API partners will continue to have the same access to GIPHY’s APIs; and GIPHY’s creative community will still be able to create great content.
Despite Facebook’s assurance, there are already privacy-related questions on how Facebook will handle user data.
since this is more important now, a reminder that giphy's client SDK requires developers to give access to the device tracking ID
— dom hofmann (@dhof) May 15, 2020
Does this mean the gifs embedded in our IMs are also now Facebook tracking beacons? Is this why Facebook bought them? https://t.co/ElCOoNJj8s
— 🥴 (@can) May 15, 2020
Facebook’s record suggests that the company eventually wants all its products to be able to share data with each other. We’ve already seen it with WhatsApp and Instagram’s integration with the blue app. So, while the social network is promising to keep things as-is for now, we’ll have to wait and watch if becomes null and void in a few years.