How Covid-19 Has Altered Searches on Giphy

With the coronavirus pandemic putting more of an emphasis on communication via social media and other digital means, Giphy has seen usage of its GIFs rise 33% over the past month.

The company said in a blog post Thursday, “Giphy is a natural form of expression for these digital conversations. As such, our data has become a barometer for how people are feeling and choosing to express themselves … While we have seen searches for ‘coronavirus’ increase significantly over the past month, we have also seen positivity and encouragement take flight on Giphy.”

Not surprisingly, searches related to working from home skyrocketed by nearly 35 times compared with previous months, but Giphy also analyzed other ways daily routines are changing.

The company found that searches that were previously prone to morning or evening surges were more evenly distributed throughout the day, with coffee representing an outlier, seeing volume go up both early and later.

Searches for sleep, conversely, were down, which Giphy attributed to the lack of commuting.

And searches for party, drinks and Netflix were more evenly spread throughout the day, instead of spiking in the evening, indicating “a little less separation between morning and evening in people’s daily routines.”



Giphy found that searches related to television and entertainment were seeing massive spikes, but so were those related to new hobbies and social media games.

The ratings surge being enjoyed by Netflix’s Tiger King translated well in the GIF realm, as it was the most-searched TV show.

As for the elephant in the room, Giphy said searches for events such as Super Tuesday and International Woman’s Day dominated the beginning of March, with only minimal searches related to the coronavirus, but by the week of March 9, when quarantine orders began emerging, terms related to the coronavirus led Giphy.

By the end of March, searches for the coronavirus were on the way down, topped by timely shows and activities such as Tiger King, GIF templates and Animal Crossing.


Finally, Giphy pointed out organizations and brands that turned to its platform to express support during the Covid-19 crisis, including: Google and the World Health Organization creating a public-service-announcement GIF; the Ad Council incorporating GIFs into its #AloneTogether campaign; and Russell Stover using GIFs to send virtual hugs.

Giphy wrote, “These are, of course, unprecedented times. While we hope these insights are helpful in showing the trends we see on Giphy, we know it doesn’t tell everyone’s story. Wherever you may currently find yourself, we hope Giphy can still be a place that inspires creativity, shares positivity and provides the content that helps you tell your story.”

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