The kids have killed the reply GIF

It is rare for a multimillion-dollar company to explicitly state that its business is dying because it is simply too uncool to live.

But that is the bold strategy that the gif search engine Giphy has adopted with the UK's competition regulator, which is trying to block a $400m takeover attempt by Facebook's owner, Meta. In a filing with the Competition and Markets Authority, Giphy argued that there was simply no company other than Meta that would buy it.

Its valuation is down by $200m from its peak in 2016 and, more importantly, its core offering shows signs of going out of fashion. "There are indications of an overall decline in gif use," the company said in its filing, "due to a general waning of user and content partner interest in gifs.

"They have fallen out of fashion as a content form, with younger users in particular describing gifs as 'for boomers' and 'cringe'."

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8 Responses:

  1. bq Mackintosh says:

    What stands out for me in this is the idea that GIF replies are "for boomers." Maybe I'm wrong, but GIF replies aren't a boomer thing. They're not even an X thing.

    Like, if you're going to throw shade at a generation, is the default choice boomers and the remaining choices are all there are no other choices?

    • jrl says:

      My experience is that most people who attempt to throw shade with "ok, boomer" aren't paying any attention at all to where their target (or anyone else) fits in the various generations which preceded their own.

    • plumpy says:

      My impression is that annoying people who aren't actually boomers by calling them boomers is part of the fun.

      When I was 18, I'm not sure I made any of those distinctions either. They were all just old people.

    • Elusis says:

      Reaction .gifs are pretty Gen X. Boomers use those generic weird stickers and .gifs from Japanese TV shows you know they don't watch but which happened to be at the top of the "congratulations" list.

  2. dorukayhan says:

    "They have fallen out of fashion as a content form, with younger users in particular describing gifs as 'for boomers' and 'cringe'."

    I'm down for anything and everything that harms or at least inconveniences Facebook, but [citation needed].

  3. Adede says:

    I don't think this is an honest admission on their part. They're trying to downplay the company's prospects to reduce regulatory scrutiny if its acquisition by Facebook. As amusing as this is, let's not play into their PR campaign.

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