Giphy

Companies

Description

Giphy is an American online database and search engine that allows users to search for and share short looping videos with no sound, that resemble animated GIF files. On 15 May 2020, Giphy was acquired by Facebook (now Meta) for a reported $400 million.

History

Beginnings and early history

Giphy was founded by Alex Chung and Jace Cooke in February 2013. The idea for the business came when the pair was having breakfast, musing on the rising trend of purely visual communication.

When Chung and Cooke first launched Giphy, the website functioned solely as a search engine for GIFs. According to Chung, Giphy attracted around a million users during its first week and the figure leveled out to 300,000.

Giphy features what its founders called as "conversational search" wherein contents are brought to users' conversations through a search box found in their messaging applications.

Growth

In August 2013, Giphy expanded beyond a search engine to allow users to post, embed and share GIFs on Facebook. Giphy was then recognized as a Top 100 Website of 2013, according to PC Magazine. Three months later Giphy integrated with Twitter to enable users to share GIFs by simply sharing a GIF's URL.

In May 2014, Giphy raised $2.4 million in a Series A funding round from investors, including Quire, CAA Ventures, RRE Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Betaworks.

In March 2015, Giphy acquired Nutmeg, a GIF messaging service, as one of the company's first major steps towards the mobile industry. This coincided with the launch of Facebook Messenger's own development platform, in which Giphy joined a few exclusive apps in its debut.

In August 2015, Giphy launched its second mobile app, GIPHY Cam, which allows users to create and share GIFs on a social network.

In February 2016, Giphy raised $55 million in funding at a $300 million valuation.

In October 2016, Giphy announced several statistics, including the statement that it had 100 million daily active users, that it served over 1 billion GIFs per day, and that visitors watched more than 2 million hours of GIF content every day.

In July 2017, Giphy announced that it had 200 million daily active users between both the API and website, with around 250 million monthly active users on the website.

Chung announced in a February 2019 New York event that Giphy was exploring an advertising scheme that is distinguished from the Google model, which shows ads according to users' search histories. The idea is to embed advertising in private messages. Giphy is seeking to take advantage of this landscape since the GIG database has been integrated into most messaging services.

Acquisition by Facebook

In May 2020, it was announced that Giphy would be purchased by Facebook and integrated into Instagram. The reported purchase price was $400 million.

Due to Facebook's previous data privacy scandals, questions have been raised over the security of Giphy's 7 million users data.

On 12 August 2021, UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stated that Facebook Inc might be required to sell Giphy, after its investigation found that the deal between the two companies would harm competition in display advertising market. In October 2021, CMA fined Facebook 50.5 million pound fine for breaching an order that was imposed during the investigation. On November 29, 2021, Financial Times reported that CMA was planning to reverse the acquisition.

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