Facebook is acquiring GIPHY, a search engine and database for short, animated images known as GIFs, adding to its growing stable of apps and services at a time when regulators are questioning the company’s reach.

GIPHY will become part of Instagram, according to Facebook, which announced the deal for an undisclosed sum in a blog post on Friday. The tech giant said that 50 percent of GIPHY’s traffic already comes from Facebook’s apps, which include its popular social-networking service as well as WhatsApp.

“Both our services are big supporters of the creator and artist community, and that will continue,” Facebook said in a blog post. “Together, we can make it easier for anyone to create and share their work with the world.”

It is unclear if the deal will require the approval of federal regulators, who are already scrutinizing Facebook’s past purchases for potential antitrust concerns. Only transactions exceeding a certain size require government approval. In February, though, the Federal Trade Commission, announced a wide-ranging inquiry to probe past mergers by Facebook and other tech giants that may have been too small to warrant closer inspection by government watchdogs at the time they were announced.

The tech giant did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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