Imgur, the popular image-sharing site, is making it easier for users to find the pictures they’re interested in with some new features.
Finding what interests you…
Social media managers and community managers who preside over burgeoning communities will be familiar with the difficulty users can face when a social network really takes off: the sheer quantity of content posted makes it very difficult for them to find what they’re interested in. With 1.5 million images being uploaded with each passing day, Imgur has decided it needs to do more to live up to its reputation as “The Simple Image Sharer.”
Principal among the new sifting features (which have been tested with several thousand Ingmur users) is the introduction of tags: people can now tag individual pictures which users can then downvote or upvote. It’s also possible for Imgur visitors to create custom galleries using several different tags, filtering out the ones they’re not interested in, making searching the site a good deal more efficient.
The startup’s CEO and founder, Alan Schaaf, isn’t anticipating that the tags will be boringly straightforward category labels. Instead, he hopes they’ll mostly be clever or witty without veering way off topic (and without breaching the site’s emphasis on “niceness”). All user-submitted tags can be seen when users look at an image but, for sorting purposes, only the two most popular ones will be used.
… without splintering the community
But those community managers we just mentioned may be wondering why a site as popular as Imgur has become in the five years since its launch hadn’t already offered sifting capabilities like this.
Schaaf explained to TechCrunch journalist Anthony Ha that up until now, the startup’s emphasis has been on holding its users together, with the site functioning as “one big bucket, one big pool” accessible by all from the home page. He was wary about anything that might splinter the site’s user base. As he put it to Ha:
“We’re not trying to introduce sub-communities. Imgur is one big community.”
The new features, as our intrepid community manager will quickly see, seek to strike exactly the right balance between maintaining community cohesion and improving image discovery (users can now click on an image’s tag to find other related content).