Google has a new tagline, “Make Google do it,” and the tech giant’s latest acquisition may give us a better idea of what “it” could be.
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Google has acquired Tenor, a GIF search engine and database famous for launching the first GIF Keyboard on iOS about three and a half years ago. Tenor now claims to be the “leading GIF-sharing app on mobile,” according to its blog post about the acquisition. Tenor is available on Facebook and other platforms and reaches more than 300 million users.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Tenor will remain a standalone brand that will simply be further integrated into Google’s existing services.
When you think of GIFs, the first thing that comes to mind is probably GIPHY, a popular extension on Slack and another GIF keyboard maker. But Tenor has been quietly building a userbase. In 2017, Tenor began making money with branded campaigns. In its acquisition post, Tenor highlighted its campaign with Dunkin Donuts.
So why does Google want Tenor? Clearly, Google isn’t desperate for cash, but the tech giant is on a mission to grow its communications footprint.
“Most people now use Google Images to find more information about a topic, and to help them communicate and express themselves—case in point, we see millions of searches for GIFs every day,” Cathy Edwards, Google Images’ director of engineering, wrote in the blog post.
Google said in the blog post the company will help with Google Images and other services like Gboard. Developers and platform partnerships linked to Tenor, don’t freak out about losing access.
As to GIPHY, the GIF war rages on.