Snap-owned GIF platform Gfycat to SHUTDOWN soon; Users rush to save their memes

Snap-owned GIF-hosting platform, Gfycat, has announced its impending shutdown on September 1. Users left distraught to lose their favorite place to upload and share memes.

| Updated on: Jul 06 2023, 14:36 IST
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Snap-Owned GIF platform, Gfycat, to shut down on September 1. (Gfycat)

Snap-owned GIF-hosting platform, Gfycat, founded in 2013 and acquired by Snap in 2020, was once a popular site with integrations across various platforms, has announced its impending shutdown on September 1, leading to the removal of its entire archive of GIFs from the platform. Users have been given a two-month window to save their content before it is permanently removed. The future of Gfycat's content remains uncertain, as it is unclear whether Snap plans to integrate it into Snapchat or delete it altogether.

A message on the Gfycat website states, "The Gfycat service is being discontinued. Please save or delete your Gfycat content by logging in to your account at All Gfycat information and data will be removed from after September 1, 2023."

Uncertainty surrounding content integration

The fate of the Gfycat content remains uncertain, as it is unclear whether Snap plans to integrate it into Snapchat or permanently erase years of GIFs. However, a spokesperson from Snapchat mentioned to TechCrunch that users can still search for and use GIFs in their conversations with friends on the platform.

This shutdown indicates that Gfycat has struggled to compete against rivals such as Tenor and Giphy. In May, When Gfycat's temporary TLS security certificate expired in May and the site was inaccessible to the majority of users for five days, Gfycat came under fire. Additionally, Reddit reports suggest that some Gfycat users have been experiencing difficulties uploading GIFs for months, with the support team remaining unresponsive.

Disappointment among users

The service's disappearance will disappoint many users, as Gfycat supported high-definition short clips and animations. Founded in 2013 by Richard Rabbat, Dan McEleney, and Jeff Harris, the user-generated content platform secured a $10 million seed round in 2016 and was once among the most popular sites in the U.S. It had integrations with major messaging platforms and services, including Reddit, Skype, Microsoft Outlook, and WordPress. Gfycat was also among the first web services to enable video encoding of GIFs. Snap acquired the platform in 2020.

This news follows Meta's recent sale of Giphy to Shutterstock for $53 million, three years after Meta purchased the GIF search engine for $400 million. In October 2022, the UK's antitrust authority ordered Meta to divest Giphy, as it would "significantly reduce competition in two markets," according to Stuart McIntosh, chair of the independent inquiry group, as stated in a press release.

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First Published Date: 06 Jul, 14:26 IST