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It may have been cool to use GIFs in the mid 2000s but now it's not - and that's according to Giphy.

Giphy, a database of GIFs that allows users to choose from using keywords, has slowly dwindled in popularity over the years as Gen Z takes over as the primary internet users.

What was once a critical part of Tumblr and other online blogs is now used to decipher young internet users from old. And Giphy agrees.

The company used this argument in its response to the UK government trying to block a merger with Facebook parent company, Meta.

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"There are indications of an overall decline in GIF use," the company wrote in a filing in August.

"Marketplace commentary and user sentiment towards GIFs on social media shows that they have fallen out of fashion as a content form, with younger users in particular describing GIFs as “for boomers” and “cringe”."

In 2020, Meta acquired Giphy for $400 million USD. Since then they have intergraded GIFs by Giphy into Instagram Stories, Instagram messages, Facebook, and more.

But last year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the deal was a potential violation of antitrust laws as it could overpower competition in the social media and digital advertising landscape.

But Giphy argues that due to its fallen popularity no other company would purchase it.

The company cited several articles like Vice's "GIFs Are For Boomers Now, Sorry" and Slate's podcast episode of "Every Generation Has Its Cringe".

As soon as something becomes popular across all age groups, it's a death sentence in 'coolness'.

Gen Z now mainly uses GIFs ironically or to communicate with people across different generations - like in a workplace setting.


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