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Imgur Is Growing Up By Offering Users Data On Where Viral Pics Take Off - Forbes

Stashed in: Reddit!, Monetization, Imgur!, Active Users, Reddit, Data Analytics, Alan Schaaf

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The numbers:

And for a bootstrapped little company of 11 people, Imgur’s reach is hard to wrap your head around: 120 million unique monthly viewers click 4.5 billion different pages every month. That translates to 1.4 billion individual images getting looked at every day.

I hear those numbers and I think media company, not analytics company.

I do pay for Imgur Pro but I am utterly uninterested in this:

The analytics Schaaf means aren’t super complicated, at least yet. Imgur will now offer its “pro” account users who pay $2 a month details on how their image fared across the Internet. Did it get picked up by BuzzFeed and go crazy in traffic? Imgur will tell you when. While free users can still track their traffic totals on an hourly basis, hardcore users may be excited to see which of their posts crack Reddit or don’t, or how much of a lift referrals bring for each of their posts.

Truth is, the number of images that go viral is almost zero.

And even if they do go viral, so what?

Imgur is still figuring out monetization.

“It’s very early for us still with the business model,” says COO Matt Strader. “We want to get this data out there and get some feedback.” Imgur has a lot of decisions to make about how to charge brands moving forward, Strader admits. Among those questions: will brands have their own corporate accounts or just pay to be a “pro”? Should Imgur charge based on engaged eyeballs versus a window of time?

Imgur’s already worked with Paramount on an ‘Anchorman 2′ campaign and with video game maker Rockstar for its latest ‘Grand Theft Auto’ title, but the company skipped alpha testing its analytics in favor of tapping a few companies to beta test its product over the next month. Perhaps the biggest question is how much to charge brands to reach those 130 million viewers, many of whom are 18-25 year old males, without scaring them away. Sponsorships right now typically run up to $10,000 a day.

So Imgur’s announcement raises a lot of questions that Schaaf himself freely admits the company is still figuring out, from whether to accept venture funding in the future or how advertisers will think of Imgur over the long-term. But Imgur’s move into analytics is a sign that it’s starting to consider that identity down the road, and the company presumably has a lot more data it could consider offering later on, as well as product improvements like a system to flag and keep track of image re-posts.

“To bring in some context here, the team is just 11 people now and there’s only one person who is dealing with all inbound requests for advertising,” Schaaf says. Two of Imgur’s 11 are women and two were hired just two weeks ago, the founder adds.

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