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The Biggest Little Site in the World
December 5, 2013 7:18 PM   Subscribe

Imgur began as a photo sharing site to be used by Redditors. It now outpaces Reddit in total traffic. What's next for the site?
posted by reenum (20 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Proper attribution?
posted by Artw at 7:25 PM on December 5, 2013 [9 favorites]


Did they really do an entire article about imgur and not mention gonewild, etc?
posted by empath at 7:29 PM on December 5, 2013


I'm surprised that's not where the "vaguely porny" link goes. (Not vague enough, I guess.)
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 7:59 PM on December 5, 2013


(Or, you know, creepshots and jailbait, which drove most of the early adoption of imgur, since the other sites deleted that kind of stuff)
posted by empath at 8:21 PM on December 5, 2013


(Or, you know, creepshots and jailbait, which drove most of the early adoption of imgur, since the other sites deleted that kind of stuff)

I really think that's unfair. The early adopters were at least also driven by how terrible sites like Photobucket and Imageshack were. Half the internet was banner ads and golden frogs.
posted by 2bucksplus at 8:42 PM on December 5, 2013 [19 favorites]


This is kind of a weird stat, since i'm not sure anyone goes to imgur on its own just to browse around. It's kinda like saying Amazon's Cloud Service servers get more hits than facebook.com. while it may be true, its also not a measure of anything useful.
posted by softlord at 9:11 PM on December 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, what made Imgur big was that it offered an image-sharing service that didn't pump your photo page up with seven thousand ads and pop-ups, and that also didn't crash nearly as often as TinyPic did. I remember the original post with the guy offering to make the site, and have been utterly impressed by how good he's made the site since.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:14 PM on December 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


Softlord, you'd be very surprised.

I know a fair number of people with no idea what Reddit is, but who do talk incessantly about "imgrrr!"
posted by mangasm at 9:32 PM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I read an entire buzzfeed post reproduced as a imgur gallery tonight, without a lick of attribution. I had no idea how to feel about that level of content theft, because I was too busy enjoying gifs of Tywin Lannister twerking in drag.

What comes after post-post-modernity?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:00 PM on December 5, 2013


Wait, the content on Buzzfeed is original? I'm not sure if that makes me dislike Buzzfeed more or less than I already do.
posted by TrialByMedia at 10:11 PM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is kind of a weird stat, since i'm not sure anyone goes to imgur on its own just to browse around.

I do, daily, and the article makes that point that, on traffic numbers alone, imgur is now a destination, rather than a utility.
posted by fatbird at 10:36 PM on December 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oddly relevant
posted by pwnguin at 10:55 PM on December 5, 2013


Yeah, the irony is that Imgur is slowly replacing Reddit for people because it does the thing Reddit needed Imgur to do well — display easily-digestible photo content — much more directly and straightforwardly than Reddit ever did, thanks to the fact that it was never designed to be a platform where, like, programmers talked about programming languages and shit. It is much more like modern-day Reddit than Reddit is, which makes me feel like Derrida would have some hilariously wonderful things to say about the evolution of social media as they pertain to structure and lack thereof.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:22 PM on December 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


I browse Imgur almost daily, unrelated to Reddit threads and other links. I generally browse "user submitted/newest first," and have almost never seen anything porny. So there's that.
posted by Hamadryad at 6:00 AM on December 6, 2013


For those people, who use Imgur as Imgur and not a Reddit photo hosting site, how does it work exactly? How do you find interesting/funny pics? Is there actually a community feeling there? Do people read the comments on Imgur?
posted by nooneyouknow at 6:34 AM on December 6, 2013


Add me to the folks who frequently browse Imgur but rarely visit Reddit. My wife and I snuggle up and look through the top pictures right before bed at least a few nights a week ... we're exciting people that way.

In answer to your question, nooneyouknow, we just browse the "most viral" images sorted by popularity (I think this is the default if you just go to imgur.com?); the interesting/funny pictures are usually all there. Unfortunately you do still have to skip past a LOT of chaff - personally I get most annoyed with the "let me tell you my life story using meme macros," "hurrr durr boobz," and ANYTHING that starts with "Hey Imgur!" posts, but since all you need to do is hit your right arrow key to move to the next offering, it's easy to just lie in bed scanning through a lot of images at once (unlike in Reddit, where you have to open a new tab for each image you want to look at, or else do a lot of backclicking). We don't regularly read the comments and aren't really interested in whatever community exists there, but from what comments I've read AND the fact that you see image "trends" (Moon Moon was one of my favorites), you can tell that a community does exist ... my sense of it is that it skews rather young, and contains a number of people who view Reddit and 9gag as rivals or at least "othered" sites.

I do have an account there, but only because I apparently enjoy upvoting pictures of dogs anywhere I can on the internet.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:50 AM on December 6, 2013


Imgur remains the image hosting site that's easiest to use, where you can still toss a pic out there and link to it with hardly any heavy breathing and without having to register an account and log into it. I'll be sad the day they go full-on Social Network and tell us we have to register and log in before we can upload. Though that day is bound to be coming.
posted by jfuller at 9:10 AM on December 6, 2013


For those people, who use Imgur as Imgur and not a Reddit photo hosting site, how does it work exactly? How do you find interesting/funny pics? Is there actually a community feeling there? Do people read the comments on Imgur?

You literally just go to the website and flip through the pictures until you get bored. Some are boring/occasionally offensive but you can flip through dozens of pictures in seconds by pressing arrows. It's pretty addictive in its simplicity, actually.

There is a definite community with injokes etc but I'm just a lurker there so I'm not involved in the community. I read comments sometimes but I'm really just there to entertain myself with funny pictures. I've found out about a few news events from there too (mostly big accidents, etc).

I check imgur daily and reddit occasionally, but they fill very different functions - imgur is for fairly mindless, low time-commitment entertainment, and reddit is for when I want to get in pointless arguments with angry people on the internet (apparently).
posted by randomnity at 12:48 PM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is kind of a weird stat, since i'm not sure anyone goes to imgur on its own just to browse around.

Very not true. I've never been to Reddit. I go to Imgur daily.

For those people, who use Imgur as Imgur and not a Reddit photo hosting site, how does it work exactly? How do you find interesting/funny pics? Is there actually a community feeling there? Do people read the comments on Imgur?

It has a front page; you can sort images by highest scoring, most viral, or just the most recent user submitted images. So, you know, you browse. I normally keyboard through maybe 300 images a day.

Yes, there is a community. It's not my community but it is active. I do comment, and upvote and downvote other people's comments and posts.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:48 PM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


>Reddit, where you have to open a new tab for each image you want to look at, or else do a lot of backclicking

It's not a standard feature of reddit for some handwavey server reasons but if you install the free browser addon Reddit Enhancement Suite there's a button at the top of reddit that'll open every image on the page within the page in one click. You might also be able to set it to do this automatically, I don't know for sure. It does some other stuff like allow videos to open and play in-page, allow easy switching between a bunch of joke accounts, subscribe to threads, save comments, and all sorts of other things. It makes the site a lot easier to use and if this were what people got out of reddit gold I think a much higher number of people would be paying customers.
posted by sandswipe at 3:48 PM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


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