GIFs: The cute little animated images you just can’t seem to escape, these days. Dancing cats. Alien saucers. Highlights from the previous week’s big game. They are digital zeitgeists, cultural cross-sections of the now. Thanks to services like Gfycat, sharing them is about to become a whole lot easier.
Gfycat, the world’s largest user-generated GIF platform, launched a software development kit earlier this that will let developers tap Gfycat’s millions of animated images. It’s available first on iOS, with an Android component to come down the line.
“The Gfycat SDK will enable developers to custom-integrate a GIF keyboard into their app in a single afternoon,” Gfycat CEO Richard Rabbat said in a press release. “As GIFs continue to catch on as a visual language, there is tremendous value to developers in a ready-made keyboard SDK that they can easily integrate into their apps. GIF keyboards increase consumer engagement within apps, and developers are catching on.”
A new version of Tango.me, the first service use Gfycat’s SDK, integrates the GIF-sharing service of more than 48.5 million monthly users tightly. Users can share GIFs at the touch of a button and search Gfycat’s selection using a built-in search bar.
It’s a boost for Tango.me, which has struggled to maintain a dominant position in the increasingly competitive messaging market. It boasted an impressive 70 million active users in 2014 and attracted investments from both Alibaba and Walmart, but recently laid off nine percent of its staff.
Tango.me recently launched a new app, Fiesta, in order to streamline development of its flagship product.
“We’ve prioritized high visual quality in our mobile offerings so far, and after working with Tango intensively we’re very pleased with the results,” Tango.me CEO Eric Setton said. “This is a great opportunity both for our users to express themselves using Gfycat’s fun, viral content and for content owners to expose their GIFs to Tango’s users.”
Gfycat, on the other hand, is riding the wave of its successes. In September, it announced a $10 million funding round on the heels of the release of an API platform that allows developers to upload videos and GIFs from any site or app directly to Gfycat.
“The rapid growth of Gfycat’s creator community is a testament to the power of our creation tools,” Rabbat said at the time. “Our users appreciate the speed and simplicity of our platform and we’ve drawn inspiration from our passionate user base to continue improving on the format.”
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