Facebook has bought GIPHY, a popular website for making and sharing animated images, or GIFs, and will integrate it with its rapidly growing Instagram photo-sharing app.
In a blog post, GIPHY said it will be integrated into the Instagram team. The price was undisclosed, but news website Axios reports the deal was worth $400m.
The announcement comes at a time when the largest social media network is under scrutiny from regulators over antitrust concerns.
In 2015, Giphy rebuffed a Facebook offer, choosing instead to continue integrating its products with multiple social media platforms.
GIPHY‘s API is already popular amongst social networks, with Facebook using it in the past in other products such as Messenger and WhatsApp for GIF search. Several other social networks such as Twitter, Reddit, and Slack also rely on GIPHY‘s APIs for their GIF-related features
In a statement, Vishal Shah, VP of Product at Instagram, said GIPHY will continue to operate its library, and developers will have same access to GIPHY‘s APIs as before: “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.
Despite Facebook’s assurance, there are already privacy-related questions on how Facebook will handle user data.
Facebook’s record suggests that the company eventually wants all its products to be able to share data with each other.