Updated Mar 15, 2015 at 04:13PM EDT by Twenty-One.

Added Nov 11, 2012 at 09:31AM EST by Sav.

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Imgur (pronounced imager[10], stylised imgur) is an online image hosting service, launched in 2009 by Alan Schaaf[1]. It is primarily known for its free subscription-free hosting and heavy use by the news aggregation website reddit.


On February 23, 2009, Alan Schaaf created the image hosting Imgur. On the same day, Alan (Reddit handle MrGrim[2]) posted a thread on the /r/ subreddit on Reddit called “My Gift to Reddit: I created an image hosting service that doesn’t suck. What do you think?” containing a link to Imgur[3]. The post received over 2100 upvotes and over 670 comments since first posted. Within the first year of launch, Imgur has “sprouted into a hotbed of online culture”, serving almost 20 million pageviews a month[4].


The most attractive feature of Imgur is its simple uploading feature, as opposed to competing image hosting services like Photobucket and Imageshack. Imgur also has an Application Programming Interface (API) where third-party developers can manipulate the full functionality of the site, to create their own services like web applications and mobile applications[7]. The site also has a PRO feature, which raises the image hosting limit to unlimited (as opposed to 255 images for standard accounts)[8]. Imgur also has some uploading tools for web browsers (Firefox and Chrome) and Content Management Services such as Wordpress[9].

Image Captioning Tool

On June 26th, 2013, Imgur launched its own image macro generator service to fill the void on Reddit after Quickmeme was banned from the site for using bots to downvote submissions generated via competitors. According to the company, the captioning tool has been under development for several months, but the project was quick-tracked to meet the demand of its users.

In the days leading up to its launch, Redditors on /r/adviceanimals began uploading their Quickmeme creations to Imgur as a temporary workaround, with many suggesting that Imgur should introduce an image captioning tool of its own.


2013 April Fools Day

On April 1st, 2013, Imgur announced that it will start accepting image submissions via postal service with an “upload via snail mail” feature, encouraging users to print their images and mail it to the provided address of Imgur’s San Francisco office to be featured on the site within two to three weeks. The post was also accompanied by a tongue-in-cheek prologue explaining their reason.

At Imgur, our users’ input is the driving force behind all of our decisions. With the rise of the hipster, we were forced to ask ourselves, “How can we attract the film camera user?” It became evident to us that a more non-traditional type of uploading is necessary to appeal to a broad user base which includes film users, the computer illiterate, and those afraid of radiation from scanners. Snail mail is a proven method of data transfer that has been around long before the Internet. To stay on the forefront of technology, we’re going back to the roots of communication.


According to Imgur’s monthly site statistics[5], for the monthly period between 11th of October to 10th of November, 61,627,977 images were uploaded and image views were 29,976,799,540. Bandwidth used has reached 3.67 petabytes. The site has an Alexa rank of 98 in November 2012[6].

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