Standard image-sharing website Imgur has been acquired by MediaLab, a Santa Monica-based agency that describes itself as a “holding firm of shopper web manufacturers.” The corporate owns a variety of B-list tech and web companies, together with messaging apps Kik and Whisper, lyrics annotator Genius, and viral video aggregator WorldStarHipHop.
Imgur, which at the moment claims some 300 million customers, says the transfer will assist the corporate “maintain the principle Imgur crew targeted on what we do greatest: creating the perfect place for community-powered leisure on-line.” In a weblog submit, the corporate mentioned “Imgur’s journey is way from over” and that MediaLab is committing to “investing extra sources in engineering and neighborhood.”
What precisely the acquisition means for the way forward for Imgur is unclear, but it surely’s laborious to learn this as constructive information for the location. MediaLab isn’t express about its enterprise mannequin (you gained’t discover a lot info on their web site), but it surely appears to be primarily targeted on buying ailing manufacturers with sizable, however stagnant, communities. Presumably, the objective is to bundle collectively site visitors from these properties to promote advertisements or information, whereas chopping prices by sharing the work of maintaining the websites operating.
For instance, the once-hyped Genius was purchased by MediaLab earlier this month for $80 million, reportedly lower than what it had raised in enterprise capital through the years. Kik and Whisper had been equally once-hot properties which have since light from prominence.
Imgur itself has had an odd trip as an organization. It was based in 2009 as a “reward to Reddit,” and its fortunes have risen and fallen together with this partnership. In 2016, Reddit determined to host its personal picture uploads, and in response Imgur started to kind itself right into a standalone on-line neighborhood. It copied varied social options widespread on Reddit, together with upvotes and downvotes on pictures, remark threads, and targeted communities. The positioning has often been in comparison with different image-hosting companies that grew adjoining to bigger social media websites, equivalent to Twitpic, however has to date laster longer by itself strengths. In recent times it has launched new options like an ad-free subscription service.
Imgur’s weblog submit asserting the acquisition reads like one thing near a farewell be aware — “It’s been an absolute honor to create this nook of the web alongside this unbelievable neighborhood” — although the corporate insists its “journey is way from over.”