Giphy is one of the largest image hosting services on the Internet, but unlike others like Imgur, it has focused almost exclusively on moving GIF files. In addition to hosting them sorted by theme and providing a search engine to facilitate their discovery, it provides a development kit and an API to integrate its images into keyboards and applications for iOS and Android. Giphy, moreover, was not limited to collecting animations created by Internet users, but also maintained channels and spaces for branding.

Facebook has not wanted to indicate in its official statement how much it has paid for Giphy, but Axios points out that the operation is worth 400 million dollars (without clarifying how much in cash and how much in shares). The talks would have started before the pandemic, but what started as a partnership proposal ended up becoming a buy-sell operation.

According to Facebook, about half of Giphy’s traffic comes from its applications (WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and Messenger). Giphy will now be integrated into the same department as Instagram, although at least for now it will continue to function as if it were still a separate service, so its users will be able to continue uploading their own content and there will be no change in the brand.

It is not yet clear what this purchase means for non-Facebook applications and services that use the Giphy API, such as Reddit, Twitter and Slack, at least in the medium to long term. “People will still be able to upload GIFs; developers and API partners will still have the same access to the GIPHY APIs and the creative community will still be able to create great content,” the Facebook statement said, which does not make clear whether this is a permanent or temporary decision.

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