Facebook Acquires GIPHY, Could Help Brands Develop Customized Ads

Encouraging users to share lighter fare, Facebook Inc. is buying the GIF platform GIPHY.

Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, but sources tellAxios that the acquisition cost Facebook about $400 million. 

Per the deal, GIPHY will be folded into Facebook’s Instagram unit, while its massive library of animated images will be made available to the company's broader network of apps.

Vishal Shah, vice president, product at Facebook, said the deal was a no brainer.

“We’ve used GIPHY’s API for years,” Shah said on Friday. “Fifty percent of GIPHY’s traffic comes from the Facebook family of apps, half of that from Instagram alone.”

“By bringing Instagram and GIPHY together, we can make it easier for people to find the perfect GIFs and stickers in Stories and Direct,” he added.

With GIPHY in tow, Facebook also plans to make it easier for average users to create and share new content.

From the pandemic to political divisiveness, Facebook is awash in negative content. And because GIFs are generally designed for giggles, this latest acquisition could help lighten the mood.

“We see the positivity in how people use GIPHY in our products today,” Shah said.

The deal also opens up a new avenue for Facebook to help brands develop customized ad campaigns.

Illustrating this potential, GIPHY helped Wells Fargo create a custom GIF ad campaign for the NBA playoffs and finals last year.

Additionally, Shaw said Facebook will be investing in GIPHY’S technology and relationships with both content and API partners.

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