You probably know Giphy, the GIF search engine. A few years ago, Meta, which owns Facebook, bought Giphy, which most people didn’t realize for one simple reason: Meta didn’t do anything with the product.
But the company finally decided it was time to let it go, and sold Giphy to Shutterstock this week. A new home where the project is likely to offer more value to users.
What’s interesting is the price that Meta paid and then received for Giphy – interesting because they bought high and sold low. Meta paid $315 million for the project and sold it for only $53 million. Yes, 6 times cheaper.
Given where Giphy is heading, it is possible that Giphy will disappear as a service and become part of the Shutterstock platform. In this regard, the question arises – is Giphy used at all?
If you look at the number of downloads, the answer is disappointing. If you go back to 2021, then every week Giphy was downloaded approximately 200 thousand times. And this at a time when he was in the hands of Meta. But that 200k dropped to 180k, a few weeks later to 160k, and by the end of 2021, AppFigures estimates that Giphy was averaging about 110k downloads.
2022 hasn’t been kind to Giphy either. Within a year, weekly downloads dropped to 80,000. And things got even worse in 2023. In April, weekly downloads dropped to around 60,000. This is a 70% drop from the peak.
So the answer to the question is Giphy is being used, but the growth has completely stopped, and in another year or so it will simply disappear.
That’s why the Meta was forced to let him go, even with huge losses.
But if you think about it, Giphy is already integrated into a bunch of services, such as Slack, for example. And in this case, the next question arises – are application downloads a true indicator of decline? The answer is clear here too – absolute downloads may not matter, but the trend is definitely yes. And she shows that Giphy’s success is long gone.
So, probably, this acquisition is not so much a product acquisition as a content one. Shutterstock, a stock photography and art company, is likely looking to cement its place as the owner of its own data that can be used to train artificial intelligence. So in the long run it’s not a bad bet.
Also, look forward to the AI gif generator coming soon. It might take some of the fun out of them, but we’ll see.
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