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Startup Spotlight: Giphy and the visual language of GIFs

GIF database Giphy was founded in 2013, and allows users to search for and share GIFs with others, as well as create their own

GIF database Giphy was founded in 2013, and allows users to search for and share GIFs with others, as well as create their own.

What is a GIF? To the uninitiated, a GIF refers to a short looping video, the name referring to a popular filetype used. In the context of messaging others, GIFs are commonly deployed as a kind of super-emoji, to suggest an emotion or feeling.

Thanks to integration with popular social media services such as Twitter and Facebook via API, the firm rapidly grew through a number of funding rounds, including a 2016 Series D that raised $72mn.

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Of course, the big news surrounding Giphy of late is its acquisition by Facebook, which is integrating the company into its Instagram division. Giphy has long been integrated via an API with Facebook’s services including Messenger, Whatsapp and Instagram.

In a blog post, Vishal Shah, VP of Product, said: “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 will continue to operate its library (including its global content collection), and we’re looking forward to investing further in its technology and relationships with content and API partners. 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.”

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