Google buys GIF startup Tenor to bulk up image search

Google buys GIF startup Tenor to bulk up image search

Tenor claims over 12B searches every month in its GIF database and allows advertisers to create sponsored GIFs that appear in the searches.

"Tenor surfaces the right GIFs in the moment so you can find the one that matches your mood", Cathy Edwards, director of engineering at Google Images, said in a post.

On Tuesday, the search giant said it's acquiring Tenor, a platform for searching for GIFs on Android, iOS and desktop. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. You've probably come across Tenor on several platforms while looking for that flawless reaction GIF. The platform said it had over 300 million users a year ago and processed more than 12 billion searches last month.

Google announced today that it is buying Tenor, which it will use to improve its search engine for images.


However, it will be interesting to see whether this acquisition leads to Google rivals such as Facebook or Apple removing support for Tenor in the future.

Tenor had raised around $32 million in equity funding, according to Crunchbase data, while New York-based GIF engine Giphy has raised north of $150 million.

Lastly, we want to extend a massive thank you to the people who use Tenor every day to communicate your innermost feelings. But in 2016, Google also integrated Tenor's technology into Gboard, its mobile keyboard app. Beyond Images, the acquisition will help other Google products - directly highlighting Gboard - that use GIFs. But as the web evolved and mobile devices changed the way people search, the way people use Google Images has changed too. Today, we're announcing Tenor has been acquired by Google to help us execute on our mission to help all three billion mobile users find the flawless way to visually express themselves.

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