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Facebook Plans to Buy GIPHY for a Reported USD 400 Million

Saad Ullah

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GIPHY

Facebook has set its eyes on the GIF creating and sharing platform, GIPHY

Largest GIF Website

Facebook has just made another acquisition, this time it has decided to add GIPHY to its ever increasing list of platforms. According to Axios, a news platform that was first to announce the acquisition, Facebook has shelled out USD 400 million for the deal.

According to the statement by Facebook, GIPHY will be integrated to another of the social media giant service, Instagram. The aim is to make sending and receiving of Gifs easier than ever. Facebook says that around 50% of all the traffic from the Gifs making platform is from the vast range of apps that Facebook has. Of all the traffic generated by Facebook, half of it comes from Instagram alone,

“A lot of people in our community already know and love GIPHY. In fact, 50% 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. 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.”

GIPHY is that largest Gifs creating and sharing platform in the world. According to the platform’s website, more than 700 million people access GIPHY content each day.

Controversy in the Making?

GIPHY is used by a wide range of different platforms around the world, from Twitter to TikTok and even Apple’s iMessage. The decision to buy GIPHY by Facebook has created a concern among all the platforms. Considering the track record of Facebook, the cause of concern is pretty valid. The famous Cambridge Analytica scandal has raised serious questions about the privacy of users and then there are reliability issues too.

The large number of people using different GIPHY in different apps could give the social media giant access to millions of users’ data which it otherwise would not have. Couple this with the trend of violating privacy and using personal data in advance machine learning and AI to create targeted profiles for ads and other services, the fear is real.

Another concern in the industry is that Facebook my limit access of other apps to the GIPHY platform and it might even charge for the service to other apps. However the media giant attempts to dispel the fears, with Vishal Singh, the Vice President of Products at Instagram, saying,

“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,”

Currently, GIPHY does not have any methods of tracking users through Gifs or stickers that it offers. GIPHY API, the back end application that allows different apps to connect to the service, cannot track users apart from their search history. Facebook, scarily, now has the power to change it as it sees it fit.

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