Imgur Launches Major Update, Looks To Rely Less On Sites Like Reddit

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Imgur has unveiled its biggest update to date, seeking to make Imgur more of a destination site and less of just a place where people upload photos to share elsewhere (though this shouldn't be a problem either).

"The upgrade means images and memes can spread even faster," a spokersperson for Imgur tells WebProNews. "Where sharing on Facebook may elicit a handful of likes from your close-knit community, positive or negative feedback from communities where sharing is so deeply engrained, like Reddit and Imgur, can generate tens or hundreds of thousands of responses."

"The interplay between Reddit and Imgur is interesting as well, so no doubt Imgur giving its community the ability to bypass Reddit and share images directly on Imgur will be perceived as a shift," she adds.

Imgur gets 1.2 billion views per day, and there's no question that a significant portion of those come from Reddit.

With the update, Imgur is bringing its image gallery to the forefront, essentially making it the homepage, and users will be able to share images directly from the site with a new icon in the navigation bar on every page. The company says the update "sharpens the company's focus" on creating an image-sharing platform upon which anyone can share with everyone.

Imgur Homepage Gallery

In the past, users have had to share images on other social sites (like Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to get many views, but now, the company says, images will have a better chance to go viral because users will be able to discover, vote, share and discuss images on the site itself.

It seems to me like the sharing on Reddit, Facebook, etc. would make them go more viral, but okay.

“This is the biggest update we’ve made to Imgur since we launched, and we’re stoked! Our community has been asking for this and we’re committed to giving them the absolute easiest and best way to share images, and to give those images a chance to go viral,” said Founder and CEO, Alan Schaaf.

The company had this to say about image and comment sorting in a blog post:

This new gallery also allows for easier and, dare we say, better sorting. Use the header to change from new (images being added in real time to the gallery) to hot (highest scoring images) to top of the week, month year or all time. You can also sort by virality, score or time. Virality is a score that combines views, votes and time into one to give you the most popular images at the moment.

Images will still be added based on the popularity algorithm that is part of the “old gallery.” The difference is that these images are no longer considered new. They have already been shared around the web and stood the test of time, therefore they are added straight to the hot section. The “new” section you are used to is now hottest images sorted by time.

By implementing a smarter algorithm to sort comments, we hope to combat the idea that the first post will be top comment regardless of its overall quality compared to the other, later comments. Introducing the “best” ranking. Simply put, it uses lots of math to come up with a confidence score for each comment that does not factor time. When a few people have voted on a comment, you get a rough idea of its quality. A comment with 100 upvotes but 50 downvotes has a lower confidence rating than a comment with 30 upvotes and 0 downvotes, despite that it has more overall points. The algorithm will create a hypothetical situation and assume that, if everyone were given the chance to see the second comment, it would be ranked higher. We hope that this improves the quality of top comments and make your votes count more.

The update goes live for all users on Monday, October 29th.

When we spoke with Imgur earlier this year, the company indicated that we'd see mobile apps this fall. When asked about it again, we were told that a mobile app is "still coming at some point in the future, but no official word yet."

Obviously, this new update would have a significant impact on the nature of an app.

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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