Mark Zuckerberg is many things, but his talent for acquisitions is potentially the most impressive. The "Infinity Gauntlet of Social" that Zuckerberg has acquired is Ben Thompson's Aggregation Theory in action. Each acquisition empowers the other in unique and curious ways that builds a tremendous moat against all other competitors. Or in more cinematic terms, Mark can now snap his fingers and alter the course of digital advertising for 3 billion people worldwide... and probably erase half of his competitors in the process.
Yes, TikTok is an emerging platform but we believe GIPHY helps round out Facebook's portfolio of social dominance. Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus are all bearing fruit and the most recent acquisition of GIPHY should continue this trend.
If you are unaware, GIPHY powers the top messaging and social platforms: Snapchat, Tindr, Bumble, Slack, Telegram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and iMessage. This near monopoly in being the pipeline for GIFs online means their platform ships 7 Billion GIFS everyday across 1 Billion searches and a user base of 500 MM.
Oh and did we mention they have a keyboard that if allowed, grants the company full knowledge of all keystrokes?
So with the dust barely settled on this deal, let's use this space to put some predictions about what GIPHY could mean for the platform. Please note, none of the aspects below are confirmed or official.
At the moment, a GIF is a viewed object. Also, at this moment Bit.ly is still a service that enables URL shortening. Imagine for a moment that a GIF platform could be leveraged to create clickable GIFs. Simply input a URL, choose an appropriate GIF and Voila - your URL is now a picture.
The "view only" aspect of GIFs is the one big weakness of the platform. With clicks comes measurement/attribution, and with measurement comes budgets. To put this into perspective, Disney currently has 3.5B GIF views. How much more would those GIFs be worth if they could drive to Disney+?
Facebook has a long tail of small and medium business advertisers. The process of building lightweight video, although better than previous, can still be cumbersome for these advertisers. We foresee GIPHY plugging into Ads Manager in unique ways that help these SMBs find lightweight video, more easily for their advertising efforts.
Improvements to Measurement and Identity Graph
ITP 2.0 was launched which caused concern in the social advertising space. We'll see how this plays out but Facebook just received access to an identity graph that is not pixel-based, it is keyboard-based. We are sure there are legal hurdles to leverage this data; however, expect some news about this in the coming year.
It is often overlooked, but GIPHY is the largest repository of Stickers. Stickers are merely GIFs with transparent backgrounds and GIPHY was the only provider of Stickers to the Instagram Stoies platform. Be on the lookout for more development around stickers and increasing their interactivity. We predict sponsored Stickers and GIFs will be coming to the Facebook Platform. Be on the lookout for premium IO buys around brands being able to push takeovers.
GIPHY empowers the Instagram AR platform
Instagram's emerging AR platform just got a large boost from the GIPHY acquisition. GIPHY and Instagram are filled with independent creators and channels devoted to their work. With these two platforms of creativity merging, we predict that AR effects could become more featured.
What do you think we'll see in the next 2 years from this acquisition?
This article was originally written on May 26th, 2020 in Issue 25 of The Weekly Dysrupt
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