Imgur, the hugely popular photo and GIF sharing site with over 250 million users, is the latest to board the ephemeral storytelling train.
Like the ‘stories’ feature inside Snapchat and Facebook/Instagram, which has cloned the heck of Snapchat, Imgur has moved into lean-back content with the arrival of ‘Snacks’, a new feature that sits at the top of its mobile app.
With Snacks, Imgur is letting users watched an ongoing array of GIFs in one sitting. When one GIF is done, another replaces it immediately to keep the experience continuous. Unlike Snap, the content is actually standalone as it appears to be pulled from Imgur’s vast library of content.
The result is something that is similar to Vine.
All in all, the feature seems ideal for Imgur users who are looking to fill a little free time, perhaps on the train or bus to work, without the hassle of having to manually find content. You can also follow GIF creators, too, making it a neat vehicle for discovery.
Snacks can be found under the ‘search’ tab inside the Imgur app where they are matched to the day’s feature tag — which happens to be Ocean today. Bad news for Android users, it looks like this feature is only on iOS at this point.
Imgur started out as the de facto photo service for Reddit but over the past year it has pushed to become a solution platform in its own right. It added chat features and the ability to follow other users last year, and last month it added a favorites folder which, while minor on the surface, finally allows users to stash their favorite media in a single place.
While it is smart to build a base that isn’t reliant on third parties, Imgur’s hand was rather forced by Reddit when it added image uploads in May 2016 to end its reliance in Imgur. Reddit has since added more social features like location tagging and its own video platform, to continue the separation.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing for Imgur, though. More than 1.7 million emails and passwords were affected by a 2014 hack which was disclosed last month by Imgur.
The hack wasn’t anything like the size of Yahoo — which is owned by TechCrunch parents AOL and Verizon and had most of its three billions users affected by a series of attacks — or Uber, which recently disclosed that 57 million accounts were compromised.
Imgur was also recognized for the speed of its disclosure. It said it only became aware of the hack on November 23, and by the morning of November 24 it had begun notifying impacted users (via their registered email address) and forcing password resets. It also released a blog post that same day.