Gfycat, the Snap-owned GIF-hosting platform, announced that it’s shutting down on September 1, pulling its full archive of GIFs offline. Users have two months to save content before it leaves the platform forever.
“The Gfycat service is being discontinued,” a message on the website writes. “Please save or delete your Gfycat content by visiting https://www.gfycat.com and logging in to your account. After September 1, 2023, all Gfycat content and data will be deleted from gfycat.com.”
It’s not clear whether Snap plans to integrate Gfycat content into Snapchat or permanently delete years of GIFs. However, a Snapchat spokesperson told TechCrunch that “Snapchatters are still able to search for and use GIFs in their conversations with friends.”
The shutdown is a sign that the service has struggled to compete against rivals Tenor and Giphy. Gfycat recently faced criticism after its TLS security certificate temporarily lapsed in May, making the platform inaccessible to most users for five days. Plus, reports on Reddit indicate that, for months now, some Gfycat users have been unable to upload GIFs, and the support team has apparently been unresponsive.
Many users will be disappointed to see the service disappear since it supports high-definition short clips and animations. Founded in 2013, Gfycat was among the first web services to allow video encoding of GIFs. Snap acquired the service in 2020.
The news comes on the heels of Meta selling off Giphy to Shutterstock for $53 million, three years after buying the GIF search engine for $400 million. In October 2022, the U.K.’s antitrust authority ordered Meta to sell Giphy as it would “significantly reduce competition in two markets,” Stuart McIntosh, chair of the independent inquiry group, stated in a press release.
Updated 7/5/23 at 2:25 p.m. ET with a comment from Snap.