Facebook acquires animated image search engine Giphy

Facebook acquires animated image search engine Giphy
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Facebook has acquired Giphy, a search engine for animated images known as GIFs, the company announced Friday.

Giphy will be added to the Instagram team and be integrated into all Facebook services.

"By bringing Instagram and GIPHY together, we can make it easier for people to find the perfect GIFs and stickers in Stories and Direct," the social media giant said in a blog post.

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"Both our services are big supporters of the creator and artist community, and that will continue. Together, we can make it easier for anyone to create and share their work with the world."

The acquisition comes as regulators and lawmakers are scrutinizing the size of Silicon Valley's biggest companies.

While Giphy is significantly smaller than previous Facebook acquisitions like Instagram and Whatsapp, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced in February that it would be investigating past purchases that did not trigger regulatory review.

The American Economic Liberties Project, an organization focused on reducing monopoly power, criticized the acquisition on Friday.

“The Facebook-Giphy merger is just the latest example of the Federal Trade Commission standing by while Facebook and Google centralize control over online communications,” Sarah Miller, the group's director, said in a statement.

"Merging with Giphy will allow Facebook to further undermine its competitors, including Twitter, Slack, and Reddit, who reply on Giphy’s API and the broader digital ecosystem."