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Google Acquires GIF Startup Tenor Bolstering its Image Search Engine

Over 12 billion monthly searches and 300 million monthly users makes Tenor the largest and fastest growing mobile GIF search engine.

News is abuzz with Google’s acquisition of a GIF platform startup called Tenor, which already has 300 million users. The move will strengthen its image search engine. The terms of the deal were not disclosed to the public. “We’ve continued to evolve Google Images to meet both of these needs, and today we’re bringing GIFs more closely into the fold by acquiring Tenor, a GIF platform for Android, iOS and desktop,” Cathy Edwards, director of engineering for Google Images, said in a blog post.

Tenor was founded in 2014 by David McIntosh, Erick Hachenburg and Frank Nawabi. Tenor has a GIF search engine that helps users find just the right GIF to express what they are feeling in mobile messaging conversations. Over 12 billion monthly searches and 300 million monthly users makes Tenor the largest and fastest growing mobile GIF search engine. Blame the pioneer who made it so but communication in the modern ages seems largely dependent on texts and social media messages. Tenor hopes to add a pinch more of emotion to digital conversations by helping people find the perfect GIF to communicate their current mood and personality.

Tenor has wisely used its 12 billion monthly search requests to build the Tenor Emotional Graph; this powers the numero uno GIF keyboard app and GIF sharing for partners including iMessage, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google Gboard, and Kik. In 2017, Tenor launched the first branded GIF program, which saw MNCs like Dunkin Donuts, Nissan, AT&T, and Wendy’s joining in on to connect authentically with mobile audiences.

Media reports say, “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. Tenor will continue to operate as a separate brand, and we’re [Google] looking forward to investing in their technology and relationships with content and API partners. So whether you’re using the Tenor keyboard or one of our other products, you can expect to see much more of this in your future.”

In a separate post Team Tenor said: “We’re excited to announce Tenor has been acquired by Google. Tenor will operate under the Tenor brand to help people visually express their thoughts and emotions. Three and a half years ago, Tenor brought GIFs to mobile messaging with the launch of the first GIF Keyboard on iOS.

Tenor’s growth has been explosive since launch — we’re the leading GIF-sharing app on mobile, and Tenor works with the largest messaging apps and social platforms, from Facebook to Samsung, to help people better express their thoughts and feelings with GIFs. We passed 300 million users in 2017, and earlier this year we passed 12 billion search requests per month. We celebrated the launch of the first ever sponsored GIF in late 2017, and since then, Tenor has worked with dozens of major brands. Dunkin Donuts’ GIF campaign on Tenor was honored with an award at Mobile World Congress last month for Best Use of Mobile Marketing.”

Till now, Tenor has raised $32 million in funding, according to available data.


Tags assigned to this article:
Google Images Tenor GIF Search Engine

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