Google is expanding its ability to search for animated gifs, this time by acquiring Tenor. Tenor currently powers a large portion of gif searches within apps and chat services; most notably those on Facebook Messenger.
The acquisition is unlikely to change anything for the many users who rely on Tenor’s services to quickly express an emotion through gifs. Which is apparently a rapidly growing market that Google wants to tap into. David McIntosh, Tenor CEO, claimed in the announcement post that his company recorded 12 billion searches on the platform in this year alone.
Overall, it looks like Google wants to expand its capabilities in presenting gifs within its own apps and services. Cathy Edwards. Director of Engineering, Google Images, announced that “with their deep library of content, Tenor surfaces the right GIFs in the moment so you can find the one that matches your mood. Tenor will help us do this more effectively in Google Images as well as other products that use GIFs, like Gboard.”
Animated gifs are incredibly popular these days, seeing that they load faster than videos and can convey quite a bit of information within a short amount of space. It doesn’t hurt that the files are also smaller than videos; making them far more suitable for a mobile first world.
Of course, Tenor isn’t the only company in the gif search space. Giphy runs a similar service and is roughly about as popular. Which only means that it is a matter of time before one of Google’s competitors take notice and buy it up as well.