The ongoing question around Meta’s ownership of GIPHY (or not) has taken another turn, with the UK’s antitrust regulator once again being called up on to clarify its concerns around Meta’s purchase of the GIF platform, which may or may not result in GIPHY becoming a Meta company sometime soon.
To recap, back in 2020, Meta announced that it had acquired GIPHY in a deal reportedly worth $400 million, with a view to integrating GIPHY’s network of GIF content into its various tools. That deal was challenged in the UK on antitrust grounds, with the UK CMA then pushing to unwind the acquisition entirely, due to concerns that it would give Meta an unfair advantage in the UK digital ads market.
I mean, Meta’s network is already pretty big, and GIPHY wouldn’t seemingly add a heap to it. But the view stated by the CMA was that GIPHY’s own ad ambitions would help to bolster Meta’s activity, expanding its already significant market presence.
Since then, Meta and the CMA have been locked in ongoing court battles in the UK, which has essentially put the GIPHY deal on hold.
But now, it may be coming to an end, with the court rejecting the CMA’s case.
As per Bloomberg:
“A judge quashed the Competition and Markets Authority’s order that Meta must sell Giphy, according to a ruling made public Monday. The case will now be referred back to the CMA for the watchdog to reconsider whether the deal would reduce competition in the market for display advertising and social media services.”
So it sounds like the CMA’s case may not hold up, which could see Meta fully integrating GIPHY sometime soon.
What exactly that looks like, nobody knows, as GIPHY content is already integrated into Meta’s apps, in various ways. But it may see more GIF tools brought into the post creation process within Facebook and Instagram specifically, while it could also see Meta re-assessing GIPHYs existing partnerships with rival apps, including Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat and more.
Interestingly, GIPHY has established new content partnerships with both TikTok and Reddit this year, well after the Meta deal was announced. That seems a little odd, given their direct competition with Meta’s apps, but maybe the exposure value is too great for GIPHY to not enable such integrations – or maybe, GIPHY is operating entirely independent of Meta for now, till the final details of the UK court case are finalized.
We could find out soon – the CMA will now have to reassess its case against the acquisition, and find a new, more compelling angle to oppose it. Otherwise, the deal goes through, and GIPHY officially becomes part of the Meta family.
Then we’ll see what Meta has in the works for new integrations of GIF content.
Reddit Adds Images in Comments for Selected Communities
Reddit’s adding a new engagement option with images in comments now available within some 1,500 subreddits in the app.
Just as it sounds, some subreddits will now be able to switch on image posting within comment threads, providing another way for people to interact and share within these communities. Reddit also enabled GIFs in selected subreddits back in July.
As explained by Reddit:
“Ever wanted to share a candid cat pic in the latest r/cats thread? Perhaps, help out a fellow r/crochet hobbyist? Or maybe even fulfill a father’s dream of being hugged by sasquatch in r/photoshoprequest? If so, this feature is for you!”
Here’s how it looks in practice (on desktop):
As noted, it’s another way to facilitate interaction within Reddit’s highly active chat threads, which could help add context in various ways.
Though it won’t be available to all communities.
Reddit says that ‘not safe for work’ images are not allowed and will be automatically removed, with only selected, approved subreddits able to use the feature at this stage.
“In SFW subreddits that turn on the feature, you’ll notice an image icon at the bottom panel of the comment section. Tap the image icon (see video below) to pull up your camera roll or desktop files, make any edits you want (on mobile only), and upload.”
It’s a simple, and potentially engaging feature update, which could help Reddit drive more interaction.