Facebook Acquired Giphy, so What Happens with the User Data Now?

By Bill Toulas / May 18, 2020

Facebook acquired the popular GIF-making platform “Giphy” for $400 million last week, hoping to bring a fresh spark of animated imagery on the world’s most successful social media platform. It was announced that Giphy will retain its own separate branding for a while, and for starters, it will get integrated into Instagram. Facebook will use the GIF creations of the massive community of users for ad-based revenue generation, so the marketing firepower of the tech giant will grow even bigger. But the element that worries Giphy’s 700 million daily users is what will happen with their data.

The Giphy community was already tightly connected with the Facebook platform, as approximately 50% of its traffic derived from FB apps that used its SDK. Now, the social media company will be able to dive deeper into engagement data and peek inside the "interactions mechanism". This will unveil identifiable patterns that concern user engagement, allowing Facebook to set up a more effective generation and delivery system for its beloved targeted advertising. Most importantly though, Facebook will just get access to an additional pool of user data that can be aggregated, analyzed, and sold. So, the question of what is Facebook planning to do with the Giphy user data has a pretty straight-forward answer.

And this naturally leaves existing Giphy users wondering about what they should do now. For those who maintain an account on both platforms, I guess you don’t have any concerns about the privacy of your data, so you may go ahead and enjoy the benefits that will come from the integration. For the rest of you, deleting your Giphy account now, before Facebook gets to archive it, would probably be a good idea. There are many good alternatives to Giphy out there, so you could hop onto another platform instead.

Giphy was already collecting quite a lot of data on how its users interacted with GIFs, what they like to create, and what they love to share. By incorporating a Javascript snippet on all creations made on its platform, Giphy knows where the images are being uploaded, tracks keystrokes when users search on its tools, and finally even requests access for device tracking ID (on iOS). Giphy can track you across the web by using a tracking identifier, so in a sense, it was already behaving like Facebook. Now, all of this data will pass over to the Zuckerberg gang, so maybe it’s time for you to say goodbye to both.

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