Months after the owner of Facebook had agreed to sell the business after the U.K.’s antitrust authority issued a final order to sell it, Shutterstock announced on Tuesday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Giphy, an animated GIF search engine, from Meta for $53 million in cash.
A commercial agreement was also signed by Meta to keep accessing Giphy’s material throughout its product line, according to Shutterstock, which stated that it anticipates the deal to finalize in June 2023, subject to customary closing condition.
“This is an exciting next step in Shutterstock’s journey as an end-to-end creative platform,” said Shutterstock CEO Paul Hennessy. “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.”
Giphy was acquired by Meta for $400 million in May 2020. The transaction was challenged a year later by Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority. The U.K.’s competition watchdog said in November 2021 that Meta must sell Giphy to address competition concerns, saying that the deal could harm social media users and UK advertisers. In October 2022, the CMA ordered Meta to sell Giphy for the second time after the appeals court sent the decision back to the regulator for reconsideration.
According to Shutterstock, GIPHY’s enormous collection of GIFs and stickers generates more than 1.3 billion daily search inquiries and more than 15 billion daily media impressions. GIPHY distributes these impressions through its more than 14,000 API/SDK connections, as well as its own, independently-operated website and mobile app.