Daily Report: The GIF Start-Ups Fostering a Visual Language on Mobile

Daily Report: The GIF Start-Ups Fostering a Visual Language on Mobile

No matter how you pronounce them, GIFs are everywhere. Every day, 23 million of the brief animations are posted to Tumblr, and millions a day are sent on Facebook’s messaging app.

They are also becoming big business. As Mike Isaac reported, a new generation of start-ups are finding support among venture capitalists.

Riffsy, which makes the GIF keyboard for smartphones, just raised $10 million. Giphy, which provides a search engine for a vast library of GIFs, has raised more than $23 million.

Whether the interest among the public and investors holds up remains to be seen. There is no doubt, though, that GIFs are now a mainstream form of digital expression.

Other smart money in the technology world has been focused on mapping. That was made clear once again on Monday, when Nokia, one of the biggest providers of digital maps, announced that would sell that part of its business to a consortium of automakers.

The attention on Nokia’s maps business — Uber and others also had showed interest — should eliminate any doubts about how many new digital services rely on knowing and understanding our location. Automobiles and ride-hailing, food delivery, advertising — the list goes on.

Nokia had a clear and ambitious goal with Here: to build the world’s most detailed and up-to-date digital maps. In the end, the led to a $3 billion deal.


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