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Now that Facebook finally owns Giphy images, they may be forced to sell it due to competition concerns after a UK government regulatory check. Although Giphy stated around 50% of their traffic came from Facebook-owned apps such as the big F and WhatsApp, concerns over Facebook’s market dominance are growing. Do people really want to share Giphy images on Facebook only?
Firstly, let’s not forget that Facebook is one of the shadier social media platforms, silencing researchers from NYU on the platform by barring them for scrapping private user data. Bear in mind, their App ‘Ad Observer’ is a voluntary web browser extension that only records ads served to users.
Oh, this would probably be a smashing time to remind readers of that juicy $5 billion fine Zuckerberg and co. ponied up for scraping in 2019.
Governments working against companies monopolizing companies is nothing new, moreover, it’s necessary to ensure consumer-friendly competition is observed by companies involved. The issue is, Facebook clearly has an agenda when it comes to buying and selling user information. It’s an interest they could push should they continue to own Giphy.
It’s hard to think of an app that doesn’t use Giphy images to serve up some relevant and often hilarious meme GIFs to friends, family, colleagues, and sworn enemies. But what If Facebook decided that other apps could use the service should users agree to information sharing and collection?
This kicks open the door for Facebook to source private information from a larger pool of fish (users) which would effectively make them heads of an information cartel where they set prices and make their own rules (Terms of Service).
Granted, this is the worst-case scenario, but Facebook has made it clear that if they can get away with any form of shady activity, they’ll give it a shot!