After facing regulatory obstacles in its acquisition of Giphy, Meta has decided to sell the popular GIF platform to stock photo provider Shutterstock for $53 million.
The sale is expected to be completed in June, and it won’t disrupt compatibility as Meta has a programming interface agreement to ensure Giphy’s GIFs continue to function seamlessly across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
By adding Giphy’s extensive catalogue of GIFs and stickers, as well as incorporating Giphy’s partnerships with Microsoft, TikTok, and Twitter, Shutterstock aims to strengthen its presence in the realm of “casual conversation.” Shutterstock currently leverages generative AI to serve images to its customers, and acquiring Giphy’s vast library could potentially provide a wealth of training data for future AI-based products.
Meta acquired Giphy in November 2021 for about $315 Million, intending to integrate its GIF library into platforms like Instagram. However, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) initiated an investigation into the acquisition, citing concerns of anti-competitive behaviour. The CMA subsequently fined Meta $69.6 million for proceeding with the merger plan without regulatory approval. A year later, the CMA concluded that the acquisition would excessively enhance Meta’s market power and directed the company to divest Giphy. Thus, Meta’s acquisition of Giphy ultimately proved to be a failure, resulting in a fine and the subsequent sale at a significantly lower price than the original purchase amount.
According to Shutterstock’s press release, Giphy’s platform currently boasts 1.7 billion daily users, 15 billion daily media impressions, and 1.3 billion daily search queries. Giphy’s library not only allows direct viewing of GIFs on websites or apps but also offers over 14,000 API/SDK integrations, enabling seamless integration with numerous other services such as Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, TikTok, Twitter, Slack, Discord, and more.
The acquisition of Giphy by Shutterstock opens up new opportunities for both companies to enhance their offerings and cater to the growing demand for engaging visual content in various online platforms and conversations.