Here’s how Facebook and GIPHY became friends again

Here’s how Facebook and GIPHY became friends again

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference on April 18, 2017 at McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. Fotografia de: Image: justin sullivan/Getty Images

Once upon a time, Facebook did not support GIFs. In fact, there was a time when Facebook supported the file format and then took that support away.

Developers tried to hack it. One group succeeded, in a way. GIPHY, one of the internet’s most successful GIF-based plaftorms, built and launched a feature that let Facebook users share moving images on the site.

They weren’t GIFs, Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff reported back in 2013. As in they were not in the native GIF format, and yet, they were moving images in Facebook posts and comments, which people mistakenly referred to as GIFs.

“You’re right this is not native GIF format support but it is the first time you’ve been able to find a GIF on the Internet and then get it to play on Facebook,” GIPHY founder and CEO Alex Chung wrote to Lance in an email. “We think that’s really awesome. We hope Facebook will support the .gif native format someday and we are lobbying them to do so but that is up to them.”

Back in 2013, Facebook did not provide a timeline for the future of GIFs on

GIPHY waited.

Image: giphy

Now, GIPHY and Facebook seem like the best of friends.

Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his team presented the future of Facebook at F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference. Their grand plan to takeover connect the world included social VR, internet-beaming drones, and typing with your brain, as well as sharing and creating more GIFs — with the help of GIPHY.

During the keynote presentation, GIPHY was mentioned and displayed repeatedly:

GIPHY and Facebook, together, released three new products this week:

GIPHY Thoughts, for Facebook Camera — an animated thought bubble appears above the person’s head and includes a random GIF of “what they’re thinking”:

GIPHY Live, for Facebook Live — have animated lenses and gifs appear in a live streaming video on Facebook

GIPHY is also available in Messenger.

GIPHY pitched and was approved by Facebook for three different integrations within the Facebook ecosystem.

We caught up with four of GIPHY’s team members during the second day of F8, where the team shared their love of GIFs — whether it’s the technical format or a general moving picture — and explained how their relationship with Facebook has grown.

It began with Facebook welcoming GIFs back to the website in 2015.

What’s probably most fascinating is GIPHY’s dedication to this launch. The team, based out of New York, spent the last month building the product. It wasn’t easy because each of the products were conceived and coded exclusively for Facebook.

No money changed hands, according to GIPHY. In fact, the company has yet to prioritize revenue. They don’t have to, yet, Julie Logan, director of brand strategy, told me. The company is still focused on growing — which means getting people to share as many GIFs as possible. That includes creating GIFs and optimizing its API — for other companies to use — along with building these exclusive relationships.

While they weren’t paid by Facebook, the builds were worth it, according to GIPHY.

Image: giphy

They now have access to nearly 2 billion people via Facebook.

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