Imgur is an online image hosting service featuring a comment-based social community. It is essentially an online home for viral images, photos and memes that are shared across several blogs, news sites and social networks.
Founded in Athens, Ohio in 2009, Imgur supports itself with ad sales, Pro accounts, commercial hosting and merchandise purchases. As of May 2014, Imgur had 1,500,000 images uploaded daily; 5,000,000 monthly pageviews; and 130,000,000 unique visitors.
- Socialize using images
- Free accounts
- Mobile app available
Imgur's focus is more on socializing through images rather than showcasing or monetizing work. The site is best suited for bloggers and social network enthusiasts because it provides an easy way to find the newest images and GIFs as they go viral and share them while they're still relevant or news-worthy. Imgur's active, conversation-based community is a platform for gaining social currency or building connections with other bloggers and social networkers - users share, rate and comment on each other's images regularly.
Sharing content you find on Imgur is quick and easy: next to the comments section on each image, there are links to Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, email and Gmail.
Imgur offers a free and Pro account. The free account offers the ability to manage images and privacy settings, create albums, add captions and titles to images, and like or dislike other users' images. Images and GIFs over 5 MB that are uploaded to a free account will be compressed until they are less than 5 MB. The Pro account costs $23.95 yearly and offers an ad-free experience, better analytics, unlimited photo storage and more image features than the free account. Images and GIFs uploaded to Pro accounts can be up to 10 MB.
Imgur also has a mobile app called Pocketgur Pro, which allows users to search, browse, view account settings and upload images and GIFs from mobile devices.
To maintain privacy, Imgur offers the option to upload images anonymously and share them online with selected individuals. Any images that are made public may be featured in galleries and shared across social networks. Users can also submit images directly to the Imgur gallery for public viewing, comments and votes.
Imgur's Support page features answers to questions about troubleshooting, images, uploading, accounts, mobile use, the store and more. There is also a search function at the top of the page to make it easier to find the information you're looking for. Imgur also has simple How-To's that explain instructions for uploading and sharing images.
- Limited space for images
- Lots of ads
- Limited merchandise
It may be easy to lose your images with Imgur's free account: only 225 images may be stored at any time, and old images will be automatically deleted off your account if you upload new images that increase your capacity to more than 225. If you want to ensure that your images aren't lost, consider purchasing the Pro account or backing up copies of your images elsewhere.
Another downside of the free account is the ads, which you'll see in the sidebar of each page during your browsing experience. This may be distracting if you prefer clean, sleek browsing. The Pro account, however, is ad-free.
All Imgur accounts have file size limits: free accounts will compress files that are more than 5 MB, and Pro accounts will compress files that are more than 10 MB. This means that you won't be able to show off high-resolution or large copies of your work if you're a professional photographer or graphic artist.
Another gripe for professionals may be Imgur's comment-focused design. The site isn't focused on showcasing images or providing collaborative feedback - instead, it's geared toward voting, sharing and conversing about the images.
Users are able to purchase merchandise from Imgur, however the selection is limited to Imgur-branded products. Users are not able to take an image they find on Imgur and order a print or gift item that features the image. The Imgur-branded products available for purchase include shirts, sweatshirts, pillows, mugs, stickers and pins.
The Bottom Line
Imgur doesn't offer many of the features that are best-suited for families who want to create keepsakes or professional photographers who want to showcase their work. However, if you're a blogger or social network enthusiast who is looking to increase your social capital by sharing the latest newsworthy or viral images, as well as connecting with other like-minded individuals, Imgur's platform will meet your needs.