Facebook has agreed to purchase Giphy for $400 million.
The deal was announced on Friday morning on the Facebook news portal. Facebook did not mention any changes coming to Giphy – like removing it from non-Facebook properties – in the announcement. That would likely come further down the road. But Facebook did mention that nearly half of Giphy's traffic comes from Facebook properties. That includes Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Facebook and Giphy began talking before the pandemic started
Axios also mentions that the two companies had started talking before the pandemic started in February. However, those talks were mostly about a partnership, and not an acquisition.
Facebook mentions that it has used the Giphy API for years and it has been one of the most useful features that it has added to its platform in recent memory. You really can't go on Facebook without seeing a GIF or two from Giphy.
The company also mentions that it is looking "forward to investing further in its technology and relationships with content and API partners." Facebook says that people will still be able to upload GIFs, developers and API partners will continue to access Giphy's APIs as it did before this acquisition. And most important;y "Giphy's creative community will still be able to create great content."
This would be one of Facebook's cheaper, major acquisitions
Over the past decade or so – starting with Instagram – Facebook has been buying up other apps and services, to grow their empire. And they've paid a fortune for apps like Instagram and WhatsApp as well as its venture into VR with Oculus. However, Giphy is going to be one of the cheaper acquisitions of recent memory for Facebook.
The company bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012. Which many thought was way to much money for a photo sharing network that was exclusive to iOS. Now, eight years later, we know that it was not. Facebook paid a whopping $19 billion for WhatsApp a few years later, which was one of the biggest deals in Silicon Valley. Oculus set Facebook back about $4 billion.
So $400 million for Giphy is looking pretty good right about now. Especially with the fact that people are unlikely to stop using GIFs to express themselves on different social platforms and in messaging apps. So Giphy definitely has a long way to grow right now. And with Facebook being the parent-company, it could really grow into a huge service much like Instagram did.