Meta sold out its “animated gif search engine” to Shutterstock.

Meta, a tech-based company, decided to sell its “animated-gif” search engine, “Giphy,” despite having purchased it for $400 million three years ago from Shutterstock for $53 million.

The UK’s competition authorities once again offered Meta to sell Giphy last year, citing reasons related to competition.

Social media platforms like Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter mostly get their animated gifs from Giphy.

Giphy’s contents will still be accessible through Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook as part of the agreement.

Giphy, which claims to have the biggest collection of gifs and stickers in the world, reports that every day it receives over 1.3 billion search queries and that various portions of its content are viewed 15 billion times in total.

Originally, in November 2021, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) approved the sale.

Giphy would be “openly accessible” to other social media platforms, according to Meta’s statement following the acquisition.

But after looking into the buyout, the CMA determined that it would hurt social media competition. This was the first time the regulator had rejected a deal negotiated by a significant Silicon Valley company.

In an effort to stop the sale, Meta wrote to the CMA in September.

According to Meta, gifs “have lost popularity as a content format, with younger users in particular describing gifs as “for boomers” and “cringe.”

However, Meta stated in October that, despite its disappointment, it would comply with the CMA’s order to sell Giphy. Shutterstock expressed excitement about acquiring Giphy.

According to Giphy’s chief executive, Paul Hennessy, “Giphy allows ordinary individuals to express their personalities in unique ways with gif and sticker content, while additionally allowing brands to be a part of these informal conversations.”

Giphy’s library is supported by independent artists who submit original content as well as businesses like Disney and Netflix, ensuring a continual stream of up-to-date material that can be incorporated into conversations and distributed via social media.