Facebook set to buy Giphy for better integration on Instagram

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For those who always complained about the lack of options with comments and DMs on Instagram, there’s good news. Facebook is going to buy the popular GIF-making and sharing website, Giphy, and intends to integrate it natively on all its subsidiaries.

The news regarding the social media giant’s intention to purchase the GIF platform was first reported by Axios, back when it was mere speculation. According to it, talks between the two companies had started before the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial talks were more inclined towards a partnership but later sources claimed that Facebook was to purchase Giphy for $400 million.

According to those sources, the agreement stated that Giphy was to retain its own branding while the primary source of integration would be through Instagram. Now, for those who don’t know, Instagram is one of Facebook’s subsidiaries along with WhatsApp and Oculus. Instagram was acquired by Facebook back in 2012 for a whopping $1 billion. Ever since everything that is done to Instagram, has been a decision made by Facebook.

Image: orissapost.com

However, that aforementioned speculation became news when Facebook’s VP of Product, Vishal Shah made an official blog post stating, “Facebook Welcomes GIPHY as Part of Instagram Team”. According to Shah, 50% of Giphy’s traffic comes from Facebook and it’s subsidiaries, however, most of them didn’t have native support for the platform. With the acquisition of Giphy that integration will be made possible and will start with Instagram.

So how will Giphy be integrated on Instagram? Well, the photo-sharing app already has Giphy API integrated into its stories and Direct Message (DM) features. Now that Giphy is owned by Facebook, that integration can be further enhanced to the point where it feels like a part of the app. A highly demanded new move would be to give an option to add GIFs in the comment section as there are really limited options while commenting on Instagram.

All this sounds great but only for Facebook and its subsidiaries. For other social media platforms, this is pretty much a power move to possibly strip them of the GIF sharing platform. For those who didn’t know, Giphy was the most used GIF source online. Facebook’s biggest rival, Twitter has used the Giphy API for years. Does that mean it won’t have access to its enormous GIF library?

GIF: giphy.com

Well, no. Not on paper, at least. Vishal Shah did say, “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”. This does mean that there won’t be any differences apart from better Giphy integration on Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram but Facebook can theoretically pull the plug when it wants to.

Will that happen? Or will Facebook choose to have a moral high ground and lets its competitors thrive? Only time will tell. Till then, feel free to drop in what you think will come out of this whole scenario in the comments below.

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