There are animated GIFs that makes me laugh every damn time, for instance search for “banana monkey cat” and prepare to have tears stream down your face. However, something that makes me laugh is that Giphy, a search engine for GIFs, has raised $78.95M in 3 Rounds from 8 Investors. Today, Giphy have launched an iOS keyboard:
Giphy today launched its own iOS keyboard, called Giphy Keys, that will let users search for and send GIFs without having to navigate to a separate keyboard application. Once users install Giphy Keys as a new keyboard in settings — and allow it full access — the app can be selected as a keyboard by tapping the globe icon whenever the keyboard is open on iOS.
I have nothing against GIFs or Giphy, but I do find this kind of incredible. There’s just so much money going to something that I can’t tell how to monetize other than “animated GIF ads”, which sound horrible. Never mind the technical problems with GIFs themselves, like only supporting 256 colors, quickly ballooning in size when converting from more reasonable video formats, and transparency problems. Finally, the problem that would keep me up at night if I ran Giphy would be the licensing issues if they end up being profitable and the threat of just using Google or Bing or whatever other image search engine instead of a devoted one for silly GIFs.
Perhaps I’m missing something?