The price was reported by multiple media outlets to be $400 million, but the companies did not confirm the valuation. The transaction fits with Facebook’s drive to increase engagement by its nearly 3 billion global users, many of whom have been using social media even more heavily during COVID-19. In recent years, Facebook has rolled out expanded stickers, filters and emojis, making Giphy’s offerings a logical fit.
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In a blog post announcing the deal, Facebook product VP Vishal Shah said 50% of Giphy’s traffic comes from Facebook-controlled apps, with half of that traffic on Instagram. “By bringing Instagram and Giphy together, we can make it easier for people to find the perfect GIFs and stickers,” he wrote. “Both our services are big supporters of the creator and artist community, and that will continue. Together, we can make it easier for anyone to create and share their work with the world.”
In a blog post on Medium, Giphy said it will “continue to make Giphy openly available to the wider ecosystem” after the deal closes. The firm, founded in 2013, said it has enabled the use of “trillions” of GIFs. It has taken off in the social media age through its apps and integrations with iOS and other common operating systems.
Steve Wilhite, the inventor of the GIF, settled a debate about how to pronounce the acronym when he accepted a lifetime achievement award at the Webbys in 2013. Complying with the show’s stipulation that winners limit their acceptance speeches to just five words, he remarked, “It’s pronounced ‘JIF,’ not ‘GIF,'” emphasizing the soft-G sound.
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