GIF platform GIPHY, which, as you may recall, was purchased by Facebook back in May, is looking to expand on its offering, with a new, custom virtual meeting background creator tool which enables you to create animated meeting backdrops to spice up your video calls.
I mean, those are pretty frenetic - but they don't have to be that full-on. GIPHY also provides a range of pre-made backdrops that you can also use, which include a bed, a waterfall, or a whale floating by.
Or, lots of eyes.
But you can also create your own animated setting:
"Getting started is easy - just go to www.giphy.com/backdrop. In addition to being a destination where you can find a variety of Virtual Backgrounds, you can choose from a wide array of pre-made starter backgrounds (created by GIPHY partners and artists, accessorize it with animated stickers, captions, filters, drawings, etc… and voila! You now have your own custom GIPHY-inspired background to impress your friends and colleagues."
The addition is interesting for a couple of reasons.
First, and most obvious, is that it's looking increasingly likely that we'll be holding virtual meetings with each other for some time, so the tool will likely gain traction and help GIPHY boost its presence. And while there are already plenty of similar tools out there, GIPHY has the advantage of its massive GIF library to help decorate your images, would could make it a better option in some respects.
But it's also interesting in terms of GIPHY branching out, especially since being acquired by Facebook.
GIPHY's product offering thus far has been fairly limited, but maybe, this is a sign of the company's new approach, with the backing of Facebook enabling it to explore more opportunities to utilize GIFs in new ways, which could help it expand on its 500 million daily active user base.
That would also further expand Facebook's reach - and worth noting, authorities in various regions are examining the Facebook/GIPHY deal amid antitrust and market dominance concerns. But those investigations likely won't change the deal, and maybe, through GIPHY, Facebook will indeed look to new opportunities like this to further its reach.
Or maybe it's just a cool option aligned with the latest trends, while providing another revenue opportunity through sponsored backdrops (GIPHY has announced two commercial partners at launch).
Either way, it could be another consideration for your next video call.