After WhatsApp and Instagram, Facebook now acquire a new company. As announced, Facebook has acquired the popular GIF-maker platform GIPHY. This will allow Facebook to integrate GIPHY with Instagram and other apps.
Facebook Acquires GIPHY
In a recent blog post, Facebook’s Vice President of Product, Vishal Shah, has announced the deal as Facebook acquires GIPHY.
As revealed, Facebook has bought the creative platform GIPHY for $400 million. Considering its potential to enhance the entertainment in its own services, Facebook plans to integrate it with its services, especially Instagram. As stated in the post,
GIPHY makes everyday conversations more entertaining, and so we plan to further integrate their GIF library into Instagram and our other apps so that people can find just the right way to express themselves.
Doing so will let the users use GIPHY GIFs directly in their Stories and Direct. While they can already use such GIFs in conversations, thanks to the GIPHY APIs Facebook uses with its products.
GIPHY has also confirmed and welcomed this decision as they shared the details via a Medium post.
Although, Facebook has made it clear that the present decision won’t affect the users in any way. Everyone can continue to use GIPHY in the same way they used to.
Also, GIPHY has communicated the same message via their post.
For our API/SDK partners and developers: GIPHY’s GIFs, Stickers, Emojis, etc. aren’t going anywhere. We will continue to make GIPHY openly available to the wider ecosystem.
Considering Facebook’s legacy of privacy breaches and their obsession with the monetization of user data, this acquisition has raised questions.
GIPHY started in 2013 and has since been a part of various communication platforms for entertaining users. It has also been a part of many privacy-focused services such as Signal, Telegram, or Apple’s iMessage, and other media including Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, Trello, Slack, and Mailchimp.
And now that Facebook has acquired GIPHY, it remains a point to ponder whether Facebook will now monetize this platform by advertising, and, whether this acquisition will, in any way, have any impact on the privacy of the users of other platforms, especially the private ones.
Though, after this decision, and following users’ queries, Signal has made it clear that this won’t affect Signal users. It is because the Signal app does not use GIPHY SDK.
Giphy was just acquired by Facebook, but GIF searches in Signal have been protected by a privacy-preserving proxy from the very beginning. The Giphy SDK isn't included in the app at all. You can read more about our approach to handling animated GIFs here:https://t.co/FoxQjFKWf9 pic.twitter.com/HRReSqKjDO
— Signal (@signalapp) May 15, 2020
Besides, Signal has also explained their safe means of communication with GIPHY in a 2017 blog post.
Since communication is done via TLS all the way to GIPHY, the Signal service never sees the plaintext contents of what is transmitted or received. Since the TCP connection is proxied through the Signal service, GIPHY doesn’t know who issued the request.
In simple words, they refer their service to act like a VPN between the user and GIPHY.
Moreover, Telegram and Slack, in their statements to The Verge, have also assured no data sharing with GIPHY.
But, what about the other services? And, what if Facebook meddles with GIPHY in a way that sharing data becomes inevitable? Presently, no one can explicitly answer these questions.
Let’s see how things unveil in the days to come.
What do you think of this acquisition though? Will you continue to use GIPHY or #deleteGIPHY? Do share your thoughts with us.