Backed by a recent funding round of $55 million and commonly referred to as "the Google of GIFs," the New York-based startup Giphy has now launched its image-finding app for Android.
The Giphy app has been available for mobile users with iOS devices since October, but yesterday an Android version of the GIF search engine was added to the Google Play Store. By this afternoon, there had been more than 10 million installs of the new Android app and over 47,000 five-star reviews from users.
Founded in 2013, Giphy lets users search for short animated GIFs they can post -- alone or with text -- on Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites. They can also be used to liven up text messages or e-mails.
Fast Growth in GIF Users
In a blog post earlier this year announcing $55 million in Series C funding, the Giphy team said that the company had seen dramatic growth over the past year that included new partnerships with a number of other tech companies. One of the most recent social media sites to integrate Giphy's tool is Twitter, which added GIF search capabilities for its users in February.
Last year, users of the microblogging site shared more than 100 million GIFs with their friends and followers in 2015, according to Twitter senior product manager Sasank Reddy.
"Giphy delivers real-time GIFs as they happen, helping to power Twitter's live commentary and conversation," Giphy's founder and CEO Alex Chung said in a statement announcing his company's partnership with Twitter. "Giphy's users are creating GIFs for news, entertainment, sports, and expression that can enrich tweets."
Eyeing Global and Ad-Based Markets
In a recent profile of Chung and his company in Popular Science, titled "GIFs Will Rule the World," author Xavier Harding said that Giphy has "become a preoccupation in the tech world."
In 2014, the company was briefly caught up in talks with Facebook about the possibility of an acquisition. However, Giphy put those discussions on hold in favor of pursuing additional financing, as well as partnerships with other companies whose users would likely see the value of easier GIF searches.
After its most recent round of funding, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, Giphy has been valued at $300 million. Numerous observers have pointed out that the company has not yet monetized its offering, but see large potential for the tool to deliver branded GIFs when users search for specific terms.
Giphy has also embarked on a program, dubbed Giphy Studios, to develop its own line of in-house custom GIFs. Chung told Popular Science that his company's offering also has wide global potential. "What we're doing is universal, so we see a lot of international use," Chung said in the article.
Image Credit: Giphy app screenshots for Android via Google Play.