Known for sharing viral images, Imgur on Tuesday launched an analytics platform to give brands, advertisers, and individuals a more nuanced view of shared photos beyond view count. Imgur Analytics will show users the performance of an image on different networks and websites over time.
"Today we have all these images going viral on this platform that’s built specifically for that," said founder and CEO Alan Schaaf, who had built the image-hosting site in 2009 as a college student specifically to serve the Reddit community. "You don’t know how it got viral or the story behind that. All you have is the total image view count."
All viewers will be able to see an image’s performance over time, updated on a daily basis. But pro accounts, which cost $3 a month or $23 a year, will get a more in-depth look, with views broken down by top 10 referrals. (Regular accounts will show the top five referral sources, but without view count and in a random order.)
The aim of this analytics feature is for people and companies to think of Imgur as a central repository, said COO Matt Strader, who added the company was talking to brands to "help them simplify social media share." With 120 million viewers, or about 4.5 billion page views each month, Imgur is a profitable company, reaping most of its revenue from display ads and sponsored posts. As such, it's also building a more refined analytics view specifically for brands, updating the data points every hour. "With this kind of feature, why would you host anywhere else?" he asked.