I've been around the Internet for a while. I find that there are certain Web sites that you don't mention in polite company less you be laughed out of the room. One of those Web sites is 9GAG. Despite being hugely popular, the guys on Reddit, 4Chan and other purveyors of Internet culture only see them as a petty thief riding on the content they create.
Well, those Internet hipsters are in for a shock today as 9GAG announced that they have raised $2.8 million in venture capital funding. The money will be used to "increase staffing, expand internationally and deliver continued platform enhancements to meet exploding user engagement." What kind of user engagement? 9GAG says they get 70 million unique visitors a month and more than a billion page views a month.
"Humor is one of life's greatest pleasures," said Ray Chan, co-founder of 9GAG. "At 9GAG, we want to make it as easy as possible for people to have fun by sharing the things that make them laugh for the universal enjoyment of anyone on the web. With this funding, we will continue our journey, making it effortless to spread laughter throughout the world and enabling our entertaining visual content to be immediately accessed through innovative mobile apps."
As a result of their new funding, 9GAG will be expanding more aggressively into the mobile market. They're starting out by releasing an iOS app, but will expand to Android later this year. The mobile app has all the features that 9GAG fans have come to expect from the browser experience.
Despite how Redditors may feel about this, it's good news for 9GAG. The site itself is run by some fine folks and hopefully the can start creating more original content with increased funding. The main complaint from long-time Internet hipsters is that 9GAG posts old content that's stolen from sites like Reddit, but it's the individual users posting to 9GAG who are at fault. With an increased focus on quality content, maybe even Redditors will come to accept 9GAG in time.[h/t: The Next Web]