Imgur Paves The Way For Native Ads With A Redesigned Mobile App

Imgur, the company we like to think of as the bad-boy alter ego of image-based platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, today released a revamped iPhone app designed to attract new advertising dollars and justify its $200 million valuation.

“Imgurians increasingly live on their mobile devices, and we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to browse and discuss Imgur’s content wherever and whenever they want,” founder and CEO Alan Schaaf said in a statement.

Imgur’s young and growing audience of more than 140 million share and discuss thousands of memes and gifs every day, from cute animal pics to sophomoric slapstick. Brands, including Tesla and UPS, began experimenting with advertising on the site last year, after the company raised $40 million from Reddit and Andreessen Horowitz.

The new iOS app, which Schaaf says represents a strategic shift toward mobile, allows users to browse and comment as they swipe from left-to-right through popular posts. A subsequent version will allow users to upload new images through the app.

The clean, card-based layout is well-suited to native ads–if brands can get comfortable with Imgur’s sometimes raunchy and impolitic humor. “Our design philosophy was ‘content, not clutter,'” says Joseph Huang, director of mobile product design.

An Android version of the app is due for release in the coming months.AH