(Pocket-lint) - Facebook has announced it is buying Giphy, which raises questions about what's next for the popular GIF-making and sharing platform.

The deal costs about $400 million, according to Axios, and the supposed goal is to deeply integrate Giphy into Instagram and other Facebook apps. 

Facebook already uses Giphy's API to offer its users the ability to share GIFs in Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Whatsapp. According to Facebook, half of Giphy’s traffic comes from Facebook's services. In fact, Instagram users leverage Giphy more than anyone else.

So, Giphy will become part of the Instagram team, and it may one day become easier to use GIFs in Instagram stories and direct messages.

Vishal Shah, Instagram’s VP of product, said in a blog post that Giphy users will still be able to upload GIFs, and developers and API partners will continue to have access to Giphy’s APIs. Keep in mind many apps use Giphy, including Slack, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, and more.

It, therefore, sounds like those services will still be able to serve up GIFs from Giphy, but we're highly skeptical that will always be the case. There are some other GIF repositories they could rely on so that their users can create and share GIFs, though none are quite as popular as Giphy.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.