If there was a de facto image repository for the internet, then Imgur has certainly snatched that crown. The website, which allows users to anonymously upload and share images and GIFs, has announced that it has surpassed the 100 million unique monthly user mark.
How did it become so popular? One need only look to booming social media site Reddit. With more than 75 million unique visitors and more than 4 billion pageviews per month, according to the company’s about page, Reddit has a large user base devoted to photos — not limited to the 4 million people who subscribe to the /r/pics subreddit. The community, it seems, naturally spills over to the host of the images every user posts.
“We’re thrilled about this milestone, but we can’t take all the credit,” CEO and founder Alan Schaaf said in an email. “Our community has always come first, and they’ve been the driver of this growth and directly responsible for putting us in the position we are now.”
Imgur has risen to become the go-to for users to post their photos onto Reddit since the social platform perma-banned links to another common photo distribution website, Quickmeme, in June. Now effectively the only game in town, it’s likely that Reddit links make up the bulk of Imgur’s traffic — a spokesperson confirmed that just 29 percent of the website’s traffic is direct traffic, although that number is growing and increased by 7 percent in the last year.
In addition to a healthy traffic base, Imgur is also seeing plenty of image uploads. The company says that it hosts more than 650 million images, and attracts up to 1 million uploads per day. With a two-step upload and no need to create a username, Imgur’s efficiency means that a deluge of images flows through each day.
But according to the company’s press release, being the internet’s photo place isn’t the only goal it has. It seems that it’ll be taking aim at advertising, as well.
“As the future of native advertising unfolds, companies like Imgur will likely play an integral role in defining what this looks like,” the company said.