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Tenor, Inc.
Tenor logo.svg
Tenor home page.png
Type of site
Search engine
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, United States
No. of locations3
Area servedWorldwide
Founder(s)David McIntosh
Erick Hachenburg
Frank Nawabi
CEODavid McIntosh
ProductsGIF Keyboard
Users300+ Million (Monthly)
LaunchedFeb 1, 2014[citation needed]
Current statusActive

Tenor is an online GIF search engine and database owned by Google. Its main product is the GIF Keyboard, which is available on Android, iOS, and macOS.[5]


The company was founded by entrepreneurs David Macintosh, Erick Hachenburg and Frank Nawabi in February 2014 as Riffsy.[3][2] Tenor was funded by Redpoint Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Cowboy Ventures and Tenaya Capital.[2][6]

On March 27, 2018, Tenor was acquired by Google. The company will continue to operate as a standalone brand.[7]


Tenor is available in numerous keyboards and messaging apps.[8]

On April 25, 2017, Tenor introduced an app that makes GIFs available in MacBook Pro's Touch Bar.[9][10] Users can scroll through GIFs and tap to copy it to the clipboard.[11]

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.[12][13][14][6]


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.[15][16][17][18][19] The threats were later dropped.[20]


  1. ^ "Tenor - About us". Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  2. ^ a b c "How Tenor Aims To Get GIF-Sharing Onto Every Mobile Phone". Forbes. September 19, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  3. ^ a b "GIF Keyboard maker Riffsy gets a new name, Tenor, and opens up an SDK". TechCrunch. Aug 9, 2016. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  4. ^ "Trump Gifs Since The Election Show America's Feelings In The Last Year". Elite Daily. November 8, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  5. ^ "People love GIFs — but turning GIFs into ad dollars is taking some time". Recode. Feb 19, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-18.
  6. ^ a b "Tenor Lets Developers Put GIFs Into Augmented Reality Apps And Games". UploadVR. September 10, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  7. ^ "Google is acquiring GIF platform Tenor". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  8. ^ "The world's biggest search engine is upgrading its GIF game". Quartz. 2018-03-28. Retrieved 2018-11-25.
  9. ^ "Tenor for Mac App Introduces First Touch Bar Support for GIFs Amid Rebranding". MacRumors. April 25, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  10. ^ "Tenor Mac App Puts GIFs In The Touch Bar". Tenor Blog. April 25, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  11. ^ "Tenor for Mac puts GIFs on your MacBook Pro Touch Bar". iMore. May 3, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  12. ^ "Tenor lets developers put GIFs into augmented reality apps and games". VentureBeat. September 7, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  13. ^ "Tenor launches SDK to help devs use GIFs in augmented reality". The Next Web. September 7, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  14. ^ "Bringing the Magic of GIFs to AR". Tenor Blog. Sep 7, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  15. ^ "Indonesian government warns it will block WhatsApp if 'pornographic gifs' are not blocked immediately". Coconuts Media. Nov 6, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  16. ^ "Fitur GIF di WhatsApp Sudah Tidak Bisa Diakses di Indonesia". Kompas. Nov 7, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  17. ^ "Ministry blocks porn gif content on WhatsApp". ANTARA. November 6, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  18. ^ "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.
  19. ^ "After WhatsApp threat, Indonesia steps up Internet obscenity purge". Reuters. November 6, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  20. ^ "Indonesia drops threat to block WhatsApp Messenger: official". Reuters. Nov 7, 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09.