Search giant Google has acquired Tenor, the firm behind Tenor GIF Keyboard, in order to utilize the company's technology and talent to make it easier for Google product users to find the GIF images that they want. Tenor has a massive library of user-submitted and tagged GIF images that grows daily, and is easy to search thanks to not only the user-made tags, but also Tenor's own AI and search systems. Google names its Gboard keyboard app and Google Images as two specific examples of products that will benefit from this acquisition, but just about anything that involves fetching a user the right GIF at the right time can benefit, and there may be yet unknown fringe benefits for the whole arrangement.
Tenor GIF Keyboard and all other Tenor products will continue to operate as normal, for the time being. There will also be no changes in Tenor's leadership or other internal business. Even so, users of Tenor products may see updates and new features coming a bit slower than before as the Tenor team works on assignments from Google to enhance the larger company's products. Additionally, it's quite possible that some Tenor products may become redundant for users that favor Google's alternatives for any reason, since Tenor's large GIF library and GIF surfacing prowess will be incorporated into Google's own product lineup. Users of Google products, on the other hand, can expect it to be easier to find GIF images in products that already use them, and GIF searching may even show up in more products in the future. On a purely speculative basis, Docs, Gmail, and YouTube are good possible use cases for such technology.
These types of acquisitions can spell bad news for smaller companies in some cases, but that's not always the case. Not long ago, Pinterest acquired Fleksy, a prominent GIF keyboard that sets itself apart from the crowd with a sensible and user-friendly layout along with gesture controls for common functions like deleting whole words or undoing autocorrect foibles. The keyboard is still available in the Play Store, and has been enhanced steadily with refinements and new features.