What this means for Meta: It’s a blow to the company’s attempt to finally extract revenues from WhatsApp, which has been the notoriously difficult to monetize.
- Giphy was supposed to be Meta’s way to make money on the messaging platform without compromising users’ privacy, but absent a long legal appeal, that’s now looking unlikely.
- Still, Meta seems to have known this scrutiny was coming, as it spent the past year exploring alternative monetization routes for the messaging service. Those routes are less privacy-friendly, with Meta forcing users to share data with Facebook and even looking into analyzing encrypted WhatsApp data.
What this means for marketers: The forced sale could bring back one of the key appeals of Giphy: its cross-platform reach.
- Because Giphy is integrated into a variety of social apps and messaging services, marketers can target users based on interest, without having to create separate campaigns for each platform.
- For example, a 2018 Snickers campaign surfaced Snickers-branded GIFs whenever a user searched the Giphy library for “yum,” “chocolate,” or “tasty”—regardless of whether the user was searching from Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat.
- Without Meta bankrolling the service anymore, it’s likely the ad program will return under new ownership.
What’s next: The CMA’s ruling sets a precedent that’s bad news for Big Tech, but good news for marketers tired of Meta’s market dominance.
- “This is the first example of regulators ordering a company to sell an acquisition, rather than levying fines—and a shot across the bow for any merger-hungry big tech company planning a large acquisition that could have anticompetitive undertones,” said Gadjo Sevilla, senior analyst at Insider Intelligence, in today’s Connectivity & Tech Briefing.
- Check out Connectivity & Tech’s take on Meta and Giphy here.