Meta, the owner of Facebook, has sold its animated-gif search engine, Giphy, to Shutterstock for $53 million.
This comes just three years after Meta acquired Giphy for a hefty sum of $400 million. The sale was prompted by an order from the UK’s watchdog, citing competition concerns.
Giphy is a major provider of animated gifs to popular social networks like Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter.
Under the terms of the deal, Meta’s platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, will still have access to Giphy’s content. Giphy boasts an impressive usage rate, with over 1.3 billion search queries and 15 billion views of its content daily.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) initially issued the order to sell Giphy in November 2021.
Meta had initially stated that Giphy would be available to other social networks when it acquired the platform. Still, the CMA’s investigation revealed that this would harm social media and advertising competition.
This marks the first time the regulator has blocked a deal made by a prominent Silicon Valley company. Meta had previously appealed the CMA’s decision in September but ultimately accepted the order to sell Giphy in October.
Shutterstock expressed excitement about acquiring Giphy, with CEO Paul Hennessy emphasizing how Giphy allows users to express themselves and enables brands to engage in casual conversations.
Giphy’s extensive library, fueled by contributions from individual artists and companies like Disney and Netflix, ensures a steady supply of current content that can be shared across social media platforms.