Internet users of this generation have the opportunity to express themselves like never before. A great example of this is Imgur, a website that acts as a photo-sharing hub and browser for pictures and short animated clips, technically called by their Internet file name “GIFs.” Imgur has become increasingly popular due to its ability to differentiate itself from other websites that are similar, and due to its ease of use.
“It’s entirely different from almost any other form of content on the Internet, which takes time to consume,” said the founder of Imgur, Alan Schaaf, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Schaff created Imgur while he was a junior at Ohio University in 2009 as a photo-uploading tool for the popular news and entertainment website Reddit.
Since then, Schaaf turned Imgur into its own independent website and online destination. Schaaf also moved the company to San Francisco so it could be closer to the rest of the technology industry. Now, Imgur has surpassed Reddit in monthly audience, and is on its way to becoming one of the most popular websites in the world.
Imgur has more than 120 million monthly unique visitors posting and browsing through images and short animated clips, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. These images and clips are a representation of the popular way that this generation is expressing their ideas and humor online. Imgur’s popularity is further enhanced by how easy it is to use.
No registration is necessary to use Imgur. Furthermore, Imgur provides links to facilitate sharing of images on Twitter and Facebook.
“Imgur was purely optimized for getting your image on the Internet as quickly and easily as possible,” Schaaf said.
Users of Imgur collectively upload about 1.5 million images per day, and individually spend an average of 10 minutes per visit on the website according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Imgur is already profitable as well, with a stream of display advertising revenue from movie studios and video game publishers.
“It’s easy to laugh at and to downplay when you don’t take into account the sheer scale at which Imgur is operating at now,” said Tim Hwang, co-founder of an annual conference about Internet culture called ROFLCon, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. “People are finding out they can say more with Imgur and an animated GIF than they can with anything else.”
There are other image-sharing services that have captured large online audiences, such as Photobucket, Flickr, Shutterfly and Instagram. All of these other companies have been bought by other companies, or have had their own initial public offerings. There have been a few rumors that Imgur was in acquisition talks, and received interest from Yahoo, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Schaaf has noted that Imgur wants to be the best place on the Internet for self-expression, even if that means raising money to achieve that goal.
Editors Note: Do you use Imgur? How would you feel if Imgur became more commercial? How do you prefer to express yourself online? Please send me your response at firstname.lastname@example.org to be entered into a drawing to win Chipotle gift cards.
Do you use Imgur? How would you feel if Imgur became more commercial? How do you prefer to express yourself online? Please send me your response at email@example.com. Responses will be entered into a drawing to win Chipotle burritos.
Information from Bloomberg Businessweek was used in this article.