Shutterstock just got a really, really good clearance deal.
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Meta, following an antitrust lawsuit, is siphoning off Giphy, an embedded platform to share looped animated videos (otherwise known as gifs). Shutterstock, the stock image site, will acquire the platform for $53 million in cash and the deal is expected to close next month.
Meta acquired Giphy for almost eight times that amount in 2020, when the company announced it would buy Giphy for $400 million. But last year, Britain’s competition regulator flagged the deal as an antitrust issue. The regulator said the acquisition could allow Meta to make it harder for other social media platforms to access Giphy’s content, or could require them to turn over more user data to Meta in exchange for using Giphy’s gifs.
Meta signed an API agreement with Giphy to continue to be able to use its content on its site.
A sale with big implications
This is the first instance of Meta being forced to contend with the antitrust implications of being a huge tech giant—the company not only is one of the largest social media platforms in the world that owns both Instagram and WhatsApp, it has also made its way into e-commerce, dating and advertising.
This is also a big boost to Shutterstock’s generative AI game. The company is better known for licensing stock photos that can be used in ads or graphics, but recently began using OpenAI’s generative AI platform to create more custom stock images for individual use cases.
Enter Giphy: The platform is embedded basically everywhere—Slack, smartphones and social media websites. Through studying how users query the site to procure the right gif, Shutterstock may gain valuable insight into how to generate the right AI image faster.
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