SXSW: Imgur's Fight to Keep the Social Internet Authentic

SXSW: Imgur’s Fight to Keep the Social Internet Authentic

As social media continues to evolve, so do the communities they create. While social sites like Facebook and Instagram use complex algorithms to feed you content they think you want to see, Imgur has become one of the most popular websites on the internet (over 150 million active monthly users) by building a community that controls the content.

Imgur, like the name implies, is based around user-submitted images in the form of memes, gifs, or pictures designed to make you laugh. Obviously, there are many reasons why the internet is great. Imgur identified their top 3:

  1. Creating a global community, both e-commerce and social
  2. Letting you keep up with your friends and family instantaneously
  3. Making you laugh… a lot

Community Control

“There’s no reason for an algorithm assuming what it thinks you want to see,” Sarah Schaaf, Director of Communications said.

What makes Imgur unique is it allows users to vote on the content they like the best. These top images are then featured on the home page of the website. This puts the power of the website into the hands of all of its users. Facebook only shows you content that it thinks you want to see, never really allowing an opportunity to connect with new users, make new friends or learn about different perspectives and ideas.

What Can Brands Learn From Imgur?

When it comes to your brand, create something deeper than just a product or service. Build a community that makes it easy for your customers or users to connect with both your brand and other customers. This is a strategy we use for Nuts for Fish’n, regularly hosting photo and caption contests. We like to let our fans vote, share, and make their mark on the brand channels and have seen great results.

At Agency Entourage, we work hard to create and connect our clients with their communities – algorithm or not. By empowering your users, you’ll be amazed how strong and diverse a digital community can be.