Giphy, the search engine for GIFs, is rolling out a redesigned homepage today to capitalize on GIFs’ reputation for capturing memorable moments from live events.
Instead of featuring individual trending GIFs, Giphy’s homepage will now feature Stories, a new format for organizing GIFs from awards shows, TV episodes, and other cultural flashpoints. Giphy started testing Stories in June, and with the new homepage one new Story will be published every hour.
For now, Giphy’s editorial team is the only one curating Stories — some of the recent Stories they’ve created include an all-GIFs recap of this year’s season finale of The Bachelorette and a collection of “The Best GIFs for your Summer Out of Office Emails.”
The rollout of the new homepage coincides with MTV’s Video Music Awards, which airs tonight. Last year, GIFs from the VMAs garnered 167 million views in over 24 hours.
Giphy VP of product Caroline Huber told VentureBeat in an email that the company started working on developing Stories and the new homepage in April.
“We’re ubiquitous in social and messaging apps where people are communicating with GIFs and Stickers,” Huber told VentureBeat. “However, we also believe in GIFs (and short-form content, in general) as entertainment, so we wanted to create a channel for users to browse and discover the funny, real-time, cultural content that’s always been on Giphy but that is now more easily accessible on the homepage.”
The rollout of Stories also coincides with Giphy’s attempts to slowly crawl out of it’s “pre-revenue” phase. The company has been building out a creative studio for the past two years, signing deals with brands like Absolut Vodka and Dunkin’ Donuts to create sponsored GIFs. Stories could offer another way for brands to promote themselves in a native-ad like format, one that encourages viewers to spend more time on-page. Giphy says that it plans to give partners and artists the ability to create their own Stories sometime during the third quarter.
“We’ll also be exploring ways to make Stories easy to share and view on any social platform and ways to distribute Stories beyond the Giphy app and website, just as we’ve always done with GIFs,” Huber told VentureBeat. Giphy currently has more than 300 million daily active users.