Tenor is an online GIF search engine and database. Its main product is GIF Keyboard, which is available in iOS, Android and macOS platforms. GIF search engine giant Giphy is one of the major competitors of Tenor.[8][9]


The company was founded by entrepreneurs David McIntosh, Erick Hachenburg and Frank Nawabi in February 2014 as Riffsy.[1][3]. Tenor is funded by Redpoint Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Cowboy Ventures and Tenaya Capital.[3][10]

On March 27, 2018, Tenor was acquired by Google. The company will continue to operate as a standalone brand.[11]


With the use of API, Tenor is available in numerous keyboards and messaging apps. This includes:

On April 25, 2017, Tenor introduced an app that makes GIFs available in MacBook Pro's Touch Bar.[19][20] Users can scroll through GIFs and just tap to copy it to the clipboard.[21]

On September 7, 2017, Tenor announced SDK for Unity and Apple's ARKit. It allows developers to integrate GIFs into augmented reality apps and games.[22][23][24][10]

On February 25, 2018, Tenor announced its partnership with Samsung as an integrated GIF partner for the Samsung Messages. The feature will be made available to the users from Samsung's Galaxy S9.[25]

Tenor has also entered into content partnerships with companies such as 20th Century Fox[26], 21st Century Fox, DreamWorks, Netflix, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Showtime, Sony, Warner Bros., Viacom, Vevo etc.[27][28][9]


On November 6, 2017, in response to users having utilized Tenor and similar services to distribute GIFs with content that is illegal under local laws, the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Informatics threatened to block WhatsApp. The regulator acknowledged that despite being from third-party providers, WhatsApp was wholly responsible for allowing the content to be disseminated to users, because the feature was part of their platform. The next day, Tenor was blocked in the country.[29][30][31][32][33] The threats were later dropped.[34]


  1. ^ a b "GIF Keyboard maker Riffsy gets a new name, Tenor, and opens up an SDK". TechCrunch. Aug 9, 2016. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  2. ^ "Tenor - About us". Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  3. ^ a b c "How Tenor Aims To Get GIF-Sharing Onto Every Mobile Phone". Forbes. September 19, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  4. ^ "Tenor Inc". Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  5. ^ "Alexa - Tenor". Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  6. ^ "Trump Gifs Since The Election Show America's Feelings In The Last Year". Elite Daily. November 8, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-21. 
  7. ^ "Tenor Inc". Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  8. ^ "People love GIFs — but turning GIFs into ad dollars is taking some time". Recode. Feb 19, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-18. 
  9. ^ a b "GIF Search Co. Tenor Navigates Digital Media Sponsorships". MediaPost Communications. January 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018-02-21. 
  10. ^ a b "Tenor Lets Developers Put GIFs Into Augmented Reality Apps And Games". UploadVR. September 10, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  11. ^ "Google is acquiring GIF platform Tenor". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-03-27. 
  12. ^ "Riffsy expands API to Google's Gboard". Tenor. 13 May 2016. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  13. ^ "Tenor GIF Bot in Facebook Messenger launches today". Tenor Blog. 18 April 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  14. ^ "WhatsApp adds GIF support in iOS app". TechCrunch. Nov 7, 2016. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  15. ^ "Introducing GIF search on Twitter". Twitter. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  16. ^ "GIFs on kik". Kik Messenger. August 10, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  17. ^ "Tenor Brings Rich GIF Technology to Viber". Viber. 25 Jan 2018. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  18. ^ "Battle of the GIFs! Zynga Launches GIFs Against Friends on the App Store for iMessage". Zynga. Apr 20, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  19. ^ "Tenor for Mac App Introduces First Touch Bar Support for GIFs Amid Rebranding". MacRumors. April 25, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-21. 
  20. ^ "Tenor Mac App Puts GIFs In The Touch Bar". Tenor Blog. April 25, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-21. 
  21. ^ "Tenor for Mac puts GIFs on your MacBook Pro Touch Bar". iMore. May 3, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-21. 
  22. ^ "Tenor lets developers put GIFs into augmented reality apps and games". VentureBeat. September 7, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-21. 
  23. ^ "Tenor launches SDK to help devs use GIFs in augmented reality". The Next Web. September 7, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-21. 
  24. ^ "Bringing the Magic of GIFs to AR". Tenor Blog. Sep 7, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-21. 
  25. ^ "Samsung Galaxy S9 Messages App Uses Tenor GIF Search Engine – MWC 2018". Android Headlines. February 25, 2018. Retrieved 2018-02-27. 
  26. ^ "20th Century Fox Promotes "Taken 3" With Clever Social Campaigns". Marketing Land. December 15, 2014. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  27. ^ "Tenor drives mobile GIF sharing for top entertainment brands". Tenor. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  28. ^ "Tenor Lets Developers Put GIFs Into Augmented Reality Apps And Games". UploadVR. September 10, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  29. ^ "Indonesian government warns it will block WhatsApp if 'pornographic gifs' are not blocked immediately". Coconuts Media. Nov 6, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  30. ^ "Fitur GIF di WhatsApp Sudah Tidak Bisa Diakses di Indonesia". Kompas. Nov 7, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  31. ^ "Ministry blocks porn gif content on WhatsApp". ANTARA. November 6, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-21. 
  32. ^ "GIFs no longer accessible on Whatsapp in Indonesia after government blocks Tenor due to 'pornographic' content". Coconuts Media. Nov 7, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  33. ^ "After WhatsApp threat, Indonesia steps up Internet obscenity purge". Reuters. November 6, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  34. ^ "Indonesia drops threat to block WhatsApp Messenger: official". Reuters. Nov 7, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 

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