Google buys GIF platform Tenor to build up its image search engine

Key Points
  • Google has acquired GIF platform Tenor for an undisclosed sum.
  • The company wants to integrate GIFs into Google Images.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
Getty Images

Google has acquired GIF platform Tenor, adding a library of animated images to its vast internet search engine.

The company said in a blog post on Tuesday that it's purchasing Tenor for an undisclosed amount and plans to integrate GIFs into Google Images and Gboard, the company's virtual keyboard.

"Most people now use Google Images to find more information about a topic, and to help them communicate and express themselves — case in point, we see millions of searches for GIFs every day," wrote Cathy Edwards, Google Images director of engineering, in the post. "We've continued to evolve Google Images to meet both of these needs, and today we're bringing GIFs more closely into the fold."

GIFs have gained popularity on Android and iOS as well as on desktops. Tenor had more than 300 million users as of last year and topped 12 billion monthly search requests in February. The company also has a growing advertising business, creating sponsored GIFs for companies like Dunkin' Donuts, Nissan and AT&T.

Tenor previously raised over $30 million in venture funding. Google said it plans to keep Tenor as a separate unit.