Three years after purchasing the animated image platform Giphy for $400 million, Meta has unloaded the company to Shutterstock for just $53 million.
Terms of the deal: Shutterstock is buying Giphy in an all-cash deal. As part of the transaction, Meta signed an API agreement that will keep Giphy content on its platforms, meaning that users Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp shouldn’t notice any changes. The deal will be finalized sometime in June.
Why is Meta doing this? Back in 2020, when the company was still called Facebook, Meta purchased Giphy for $400 million. There was plenty of chatter at the time that regulators might take issue with the deal, and in October of last year U.K. competition authorities ruled that Meta owning Giphy “could allow Meta to limit other social media platforms’ access to gifs.” With the ruling, Meta was given six months to offload Giphy.
More on Giphy: Giphy has the internet’s largest catalog of gifs and web-based stickers that are frequently used on platforms including Meta’s Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp, as well as others such as Tiktok and Snapchat. Giphy’s library is built by submissions from individual artists and major media partners including NBC, Disney, Netflix, and several professional sports leagues.
What are they saying? Shutterstock CEO Paul Hennessy said in a release:
Shutterstock is in the business of helping people and brands tell their stories. Through the Giphy acquisition, we are extending our audience touch points beyond primarily professional marketing and advertising use cases and expanding into casual conversations. Giphy enables everyday users to express themselves in memorable ways with gif and sticker content while also enabling brands to be a part of these casual conversations. We plan to leverage Shutterstock’s unique capabilities in content and metadata monetization, generative AI, studio production and creative automation to enable the commercialization of our gif library as we roll this offering out to customers.
Why is this important to us? Animators have long used Giphy to distribute, promote, and even find financing for their work. For many, it’s important that Giphy’s catalog remains widely available on the platforms where people are most used to finding and using it.