Learn How Giphy Works: GIFs are Only a Search Away

It is hard to believe how GIFs have become so famous. They are used by millennials everywhere: in their WhatsApp chats, Facebook posts, Snapchat and Instagram stories etc. You can search GIFs online. However, looking for GIFs on Google can be a long process. Hence, a dedicated search engine for GIFs was born, Giphy. Giphy works as a search engine so that you can find the GIFs you have been looking for. You could call it the Google of the GIF world.

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Giphy currently hosts more than 150 million active users. Moreover, venture capitalists value the GIF search engine at $600 million. Even with these great stats, you could say they Giphy is still in the growing stages. As of now, it does not generate any revenue. The company has no monetizing features as of yet.

The business model of Giphy is different from other companies. It differs from its competitors. A different business model means that Giphy can use various new revenue generation ideas with their search engine.

Why are GIFs so popular?

Various studies have shown that humans are more intrigued by visuals. You can tell a more convincing story through visuals. Videos can be a good way to tell a vivid tale. However, videos can be long and that can put off many people from watching them. Moreover, it requires a lot of effort to make quality video content that is appealing. However, you may not always have the resources to do that.

giphy works

Adding texts to a visual is another good option. However, how cool would it be if you could have short moving pictures and texts to tell your story? This is where GIFs come in. GIFs are funny clips or sequence of images that deliver a specific emotion or story. They are compiled together with short, looped animations.

How Does Giphy Works?

GIFs are more common nowadays because of their integrations in different social media platforms such as Reddit, WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram etc. Moreover, they are also used on Tumblr for reactions and replies on threads.

Giphy was created to be a search engine that could be used to look up for different GIFs. It was started out in 2013 when founders, Alex Chung and Jace Cooke, gathered fifteen thousand GIFs for their search engine. They started by providing a humble figure of 15,000 in the beginning days. Now, Giphy works by providing more than 1 billion GIFs to over 100 million users around the world.

According to statistics, these 100 million users have collectively watched these GIFs for 2 million hours. The stats are rather astonishing. Moreover, these stats show the popularity of GIFs in today’s world.

Facebook Integration and the Impact

The year 2016 proved to be a crucial year for Giphy and the whole GIFs community. Facebook integrated the use of GIFs in its social media platform. Now, users could use GIFs to reply to comments. They could also use them in chats on Messengers. Facebook is the biggest social media network and it has a huge user base.

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This integration brought more active users to Giphy and the GIF community grew as a consequence. Moreover, the popularity of GIFs increased when the meme community adopted it as a means of transmission.

A lot of the traffic on Giphy is of people who are looking for different memes. In a basic sense, Giphy seems like a search engine that only lets you search GIFs that you could share. However, this has changed with the course of time and is no longer true. Giphy works by providing more than just GIFs.

The website has evolved to provide more features such as video to GIF converter, GIF keyboard and other enterprise tools for media companies. These enterprise tools can be used to turn content into GIFs. Due to the popularity of GIFs, many media outlets have jumped on this bandwagon.

Giphy works on a different operating model

Giphy takes pride in being different than other search engines that are available to use. It allows us to open the GIF directly on the Giphy website. Unlike other search engines, it does not redirect to any third party site.

GIFs found on Giphy can be shared, downloaded, or embedded from the interface provided by Giphy itself. You could say that Giphy is your one stop for all GIF needs.

Does the Way Giphy Works Make Money For It?

giphy works

It has been mentioned above that Giphy does not generate revenue from its enterprise. This is true. The reason is that Giphy is a search engine. It does not own any of the GIFs it queries from the internet. Moreover, another reason for no revenue is that they have not monetized their services as of yet.

Imgur, a competitor of Giphy, makes money by promoted posts. However, Giphy does not plan to follow in the tracks of its rival, Imgur. Another reason why Giphy does not follow Imgur to make revenue is that Imgur and Giphy have different operating models.

Imgur is an image hosting website that also hosts GIFs. Giphy on the other hand is just a search engine. Hence, it cannot make money by licensing or selling the GIFs.

However, they can make money by following what Google does. They can have sponsored results in their search queries to earn money. Sponsored results could be sold to third parties to make money.

Giphy is popular among different IM applications and is already integrated in the likes of WhatsApp and Messenger. Hence, their current associations will make it easier to find clients as well.

Furthermore, Giphy has collaborated with differen brands and artists in the past to bring more attention to their company and the GIF community. These partnerships could be fruitful for them if they decided to bring advertisements in their search results.


Giphy was founded in 2013 as a GIF search engine. It started off with 15,000 GIFs. The number of GIFs has grown over 1 billion since its inception.

Furthermore, they are famous among users because they allow them to reply and show different reactions.

Also, Giphy does not make money from the services it provides.  


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