Giphy Eyes Monetization With Sponsored GIFs In Messages


Social Media Week

The four-year-old company wants you to infuse branded content in your chats.

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Giphy, the leading search engine for GIFs, has begun testing sponsored content within messaging experiences such as those that take place via integrations with iMessage, Slack, Facebook Messenger, and yes, Tinder, too.

Ads would be tied to specific search terms, similar to Google SEM, with the key difference being that the content would be relevant based on emotions or reactions, instead of more literal keywords. For example, the keyword “starving” might conjure branded content from Taco Bell, and typing “drama” could prompt a GIF promoting a new Bravo reality show.

via GIPHY

According to TechCrunch, Giphy has 200 million daily active users, with most people using the platform on a daily basis to interact with their friends, coworkers and even love interests. According to a study conducted by Harris Poll in conjunction with GIF platform Tenor, 71 percent of Americans use “visual expressions” like emojis and GIFs in their texts and 36 percent of U.S. millennials say these digital languages communicate their thoughts better than words do.

Between chat bots built to drive commerce and Facebook’s own ambitions to sell ads in Messenger, consumer conversations are rapidly emerging as digital’s hottest advertising real estate. Within these environments, marketers will be challenged to provide valuable experiences that are hyper-relevant to the personal preferences and interests of users—without creeping people out or disrupting the user experience.

Beyond monetizing messaging experiences, Giphy also has potential to earn revenue from its website, which sees a significant amount of search traffic in its own right. In fact, together GIF enthusiasts spend 4 million hours a day watching content there. While the details of the messaging tests and future monetization plans are under wraps, it will be interesting to see how Giphy power-users respond to the ads. Ultimately, the success of the product will depend on brands’ ability to create compelling GIFs that are native to the user experience.

To date, Giphy has raised $150 million in funding at a $600 million valuation.



Katie Perry

Contributor, Social Media Week

Katie Perry is a marketing & content strategist and contributor to SMW News, a leading news platform covering startups, tech, brands and the future of work. You can follow Katie on Twitter at @katieeperry.



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