Meme-heavy image-sharing site Imgur says that it has now grown 100 million unique monthly visitors. The company also says it’s profitable, with paid Pro subscriptions and some promising-if-early results from big advertisers.
“More than a quarter” of its traffic is supposedly direct, so it’s not just depending on other sites that use its image hosting (such as online community Reddit) for its audience. Organic search traffic represents 5 percent. Other numbers that the company shared: It hosts 650 million images, with 1 million daily uploads. And mobile now accounts for 35 percent of traffic.
Imgur was founded in 2009, with recent product launches that include iOS and Android apps, as well as a new meme generator. Back in January, Imgur said it was generating 3.6 billion pageviews from 56 million unique monthly visitors.
Just for a point of comparison, I asked comScore for its traffic data, and the company reported that Imgur’s unique visitors in the United States have gone up from 8.7 million in August 2012 to 14.0 million in August 2013. That’s not really an apples-to-apples comparison, since the comScore data is US-only, so perhaps the more noteworthy point is comScore says Imgur’s US web traffic has grown 60 percent year-over-year.
As for advertising, which often takes the form of sponsored content tailored to the Imgur community, COO Matt Strader told me via email that advertisers include Paramount, GE, Virgin, and Sony Playstation. Strader described Imgur as “still very early and are experimenting” but already seeing results that “outperformed industry norms in every respect.”
Strader said he couldn’t get too specific, but he shared some of the results seen in a couple of those campaigns. For example, a sponsored content campaign tied to the release of the Grand Theft Auto V video game saw 7,000 social interactions (which include votes, comments, and shares), while campaigns for the TV show Psych have seen a 2.1 percent engagement rate.
“We want to keep a high bar for sponsored content because it will be featured alongside the other most popular image content on the web,” Strader said. “Our user community has an expectation of quality content so we want the sponsored content to stand up to that. Therefore, our focus is on partnering with brands that care about content and are looking for new marketing outlets to be creative.”