Facebook is acquiring Giphy, the database of millions of animated images or GIFs for about US$400 Million according to a new report. The company had at some point over the past few months reached out to the search engine giant if the company will be interested in investment.
And almost majority of interactions of Giphy’s content came through Facebook and its other network of services such as the Facebook Messenger which allows users to send animated images to further explain the sense behind their messages. Giphy contents includes funny animated memes such as Crying Michael Jordan or Tea-sipping Kermits and so forth.
While looking at Giphy, Facebook executives realised that they should not just make an investment – by buying the company outright, they could get something else they value: data. Meanwhile the thing is that Giphy also provides the same search service to many of Facebook’s competitors such as the Apple’s iMessage, Twitter uses it as well, Signal, TikTok and a host of other social networking services. And with a strong hold of Giphy over the usage of it’s platform by the general public who have access to it, that might just be a great deal for Facebook to buy into.
So with the acquisition, Facebook will be able to gain insight over its competition through the searches and GIF posts over the internet. The deal between both company is said to be worth US$400 million based on insiders’ sources.
Facebook is a data-hungry beast whose reliance on data is it’s main driver to maintain it’s prowess. The company though lacking it’s own operating system has used other means to measure how to beat it’s competitions at the game which had sometimes landed the company in some hot waters in the recent past.
In 2013, for instance, Facebook acquired Onavo, an Israeli company that made a virtual private network, a tool to keep online activity private. Just not from Facebook, which analysed the data to see which apps were getting popular, and then came up with ways to compete with or purchase them. Apple in 2018 banned the Onavo app, declaring that the data collection violated its app store rules.
The company is under antitrust investigation and by taking another big step which could further blow it’s cover might not just be a good idea at this time as more US legislatures are already keeping their eyes on the company something which Elizabeth Warren calls the “Big tech” and had initially planned to break them all apart should be be elected President even though she eventually dropped out.
Meanwhile, the FTC investigation in particular is said to be on the look for how Facebook judged its competitor’s apps as well as trying to buying them out or quash them entirely. After Facebook purchases Giphy, it will join the product team for Instagram – another app Facebook acquired.
Instagram product head Vishal Shah said the company is buying Giphy “so that people can find just the right way to express themselves”, according to a blog post. Giphy will “continue to operate its library,” and developers and partners “will continue to have the same access” to all of the content. Either keeping it or quashing it, both attempts is for the gain of Facebook to continue its grip on the general users while it aims to conquer the world by bringing everyone on board the social network services.