Imgur CEO Talks New Mobile App, Relationship With Reddit

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On Monday, image sharing service Imgur finally released its first mobile app, launching on Android first. It turns out it's not that they just wanted to start with Android, however. They've run into some issues with Apple, but the iOS app should arrive in the coming weeks.

This is all coming significantly later than we expected. Last year, we were told that we would probably see Imgur's mobile apps in the fall, but that obviously didn't happen. When asked about the delay, Imgur CEO and founder Alan Schaaf tells WebProNews, "Of course, we would have loved to have seen the app even sooner too. That Fall timeframe was an off-the-cuff mention, and more aspirational than anything. Unfortunately, that wasn’t matched with our actual roadmap at the time. The core work started later so the app was simply completed later."

Imgur did launch a major redesign of its site in the fall, and that appears to have paid off for the company. Imgur is often thought of as the place for images shared on reddit, but the redesign has apparently helped it branch out further.

"Absolutely, we continue to see more traffic coming from other social sources like Facebook and Twitter," Schaaf tells us. "But [the] most notable increase is in our direct traffic and users finding us through organic search, just searching for Imgur. Direct and search traffic now account for nearly 30% of our traffic. This is exciting news because that means we continue to become a destination site where users come to spend time, again and again."

Just because Imgur would like to be thought of more and more as a destination site, does not mean that it is not appreciative of what reddit has done for it.

"Reddit is an awesome site with an awesome community, and we are members of that community, so yes, we are proud to embrace that association," Schaaf says. "But as a separate company we have our own set of goals, and we are focused on becoming the world’s best image sharing site. We are all about the instant gratification that images can provide, and helping people discover and share the web’s most viral images. Our next phase is about perfecting an entertaining experience on mobile and web that will have our millions of users coming back on a daily basis."

"We see Imgur as a complementary service that adds value not just to the Reddit community, but to the entire Internet," he says. "Imgur is certainly one of the largest hubs where images originate and then get shared out. That gives us unique access to see how images move across the web and what is trending. We have developed our own ecosystem based not only on sharing images but delivering all of the best content image content the web has to offer, right on our site."

"Imgur is also positioned differently from other image sharing services because we are not tied to social networks, and we make it easy for anyone to share with everyone, anonymously," he adds. "So when you come to Imgur you don’t have to choose who to follow or have to go find friends. It’s all about consuming and engaging with great content. The new mobile app will help deliver that same entertaining content stream and quality user experience to all of our users on their mobile devices, and continue building out our destination site."

Imgur is promising other new features in the coming months that will help aid content creation, personalization and discovery. If you use Android, you can download it from Google Play right now.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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