Imgur Is Now Bigger Than Reddit

Most people with a need to describe Imgur do it like this: Imgur is Reddit’s favorite image host. Reddit, an enormous website with millions of users, doesn’t provide a way to publish images. Imgur was started by a user to fill that niche, and it did.

So this comes as surprising news: Imgur, according to the site’s internal numbers and to Alexa, is now larger than Reddit. By a lot, actually: Reddit’s internal numbers put it at about 70 million unique visitors a month; Imgur’s claim 100 million. Again: Imgur, which basically grew out of Reddit, is now bigger than Reddit.

Growth has been steady, according to Imgur COO Matt Strader and founder Alan Schaaf, who operate Imgur independently. Two years ago the site was hovering around 30 million people a month. After a long period of steady grown and a 30% surge last month, its 100 million monthly unique visitors click on about 2 billion images a day.

More surprising is the manner in which visitors are arriving. Direct visits to the site account for about 30% of visitors, a very close second to Reddit referrals. Schaaf attributes some of this to Imgur’s role as an image upload service — in the process of uploading, you would likely visit the site directly. But image views far outpace uploads, and there’s evidence that users are treating Imgur as a destination rather than a simple image host. Or, to put it another way, they’re treating it as a Reddit alternative. (Or a fully user-generated BuzzFeed alternative — the site lets users post headlines and captions in such a way that image galleries can become, in essence, full posts.)

Superficially, at least, Imgur seems to skew a little younger than Reddit. There’s a strain of Tumblr’s social justice ethos in the community, and what feels like a fairly even gender distribution — at the very least, it doesn’t feel like quite as much of a boys’ club. You can read more on that here.

It’s sillier too, as you might expect from a site built around joke images. “It’s a big competition to get the best comments of the day,” says Schaaf. Which usually means making a pun, or a joke, and quickly (comments are limited in length and top comments are displayed on the homepage each day).

Imgur also has a fairly clear revenue plan; the campaign for Grand Theft Auto V extended to Imgur in the form of sponsored images, and the site, which has 10 employees and is not backed by venture capital, is profitable (though Schaaf would not disclose exact numbers). Its creators now speak openly about “native content” and “tired banner approaches,” signaling a willingness to chase revenue in a way that Reddit, which is still not profitable, has vocally resisted. Contrast:

• Reddit’s latest blog post: “We value our independence more than money.”

• Imgur’s founders: “As Imgur continues to generate more unique visitors and daily image views, the service becomes an attractive partner for brands.”

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A Tribute To Terrible Old Linux Wallpapers

1. For a lot of people, installing Linux is as much about finding an alternative to Windows as it is asserting some kind of identity:

2. That identity? Linux Bro. There’s the surly penguin mascot:

3. The ever-so-slightly outdated pop culture references:

4. The “hacker” ideal:

5. The anime:

6. The… whatever this is:

7. There are thousands of terrible Linux-inspired wallpapers which, like most other parts of the operating system, were made by volunteers. It’s a forgotten, and bizarre, part of nerd culture.

Check out the rest at Terrible Linux Wallpaper. Thanks to @slowdecade for finding this.

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Is This The End Of The Vine Experiment?

A lot of observations have been made and conclusions drawn about the fate of Vine from the chart above. Last week, CNBC first noted the rather alarming drop-off of Vine links shared on Twitter; at that point it wasn’t so much a pattern, but a troubling indicator that a new and improved Instagram could cut off the recently hot Vine at the knees.

But just one week later, it’s hard to look at this chart — where Vine’s trend just isn’t recovering — without the sinking feeling that Instagram has delivered a crushing, perhaps fatal, blow.

The Topsy numbers are staggering. June 19 — the day before Instagram Video’s launch — link shares approached 2.4 million. Yesterday, shares were cut down to 794,824, just one-third of what they were only 11 days ago.

The most troubling relationship is the fairly steady rise of Instagram’s shares next to Vine’s far more drastic drop, which seem to suggest that users aren’t necessarily flocking to Instagram, which they probably already use — they’re simply forgetting about Vine. While Topsy’s numbers may not tell the whole story, it’s possible that, in the eyes of its users, Instagram video has simply rendered Vine redundant. Further proof that home-screen space is an increasingly precious commodity.

Update: Given all the attention the Topsy chart has received, the company put out a blog post clarifying the difference between its free service and Topsy Pro, which adds a somewhat different story to the Vine vs. Instagram narrative. Here’s what Topsy says:

While both products show trends in social conversation, the free Topsy service provides just a subset of the analysis available in Topsy Pro… The free Topsy service generates trend charts using a sample of the most influential people and tweets. This allows users to see emerging trends among influencers in real time. Topsy Pro, on the other hand, counts all tweets and all people, both influential and less so. This allows users to discover and measure emerging trends, with exact counts of everything that’s happening and has happened historically.

The full story, seems to support the original story to a degree, but with better context. Here we can see that while Vine experienced some solid growth over the last three months, it’s always been well behind Instagram in terms of shares across Twitter. This makes sense given that Instagram is an older, far more established service.

The chart does, however, show a noticeable fluctuation in Vine shares in the latter half of June from over 4 million to about half of that at the end of the month, while Instagram shares seem to be be fluctuating much in the same way they have since January.

In all, the data suggests a different story from the complete and total collapse of Vine, but it also refutes the narrative from earlier this month that

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Why Is Facebook Blocking This Link?

1. “Reasons my son is crying”, a tumblr where a father records the hilarious reasons his young son is upset, went viral this weekend, so we posted a link to it on our Facebook page last night:

2. Only to see it gone this morning. We tried to post it again and received this message:

3. It’s unclear which part of the Facebook terms it violated, if any:

It’s strange: the Tumblr may be a bit mean-spirited at times, and it’s easy to imagine that some users might take offense to it. But how does that translate into a blanket ban? We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment and haven’t yet heard back.

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The Most Important Document In The Apple/Samsung Patent War

For ongoing coverage of the case, which has already resulted in the release of countless fascinating early iPhone, iPad and Samsung prototypes, follow Ina Fried at AllThingsD.

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The One Way You Definitely Shouldn’t Promote A $300 Bluetooth Watch

The Samsung Galaxy Gear has gotten off to a rocky start. Reception: mixed. Reviews: not great. If you’re Samsung, you probably feel like the Gear needs a little boost. And what better way to accomplish that than with a bold ad campaign.

So, well, this is what they came up with. I’ll paste Samsung’s description — its official summary — first, since it’s somehow longer, and weirder, than the video itself:

Told from a child’s perspective, “The Developer” is a musical short film by Samsung featuring Lionel Messi and the hit single “Royals” by Lorde.

A mysterious stranger arrives in a low income neighborhood and captures the imaginations of the children who live there. He is “The Developer” and the children view him with a deep suspicion.

Together with his Samsung GALAXY Note 3 and GALAXY Gear, the Developer effortlessly masterminds a secret construction project. Using the latest in Samsung technology including Action Memo, Pen Window, Scrapbook and hands-free call capability on the Gear, the Developer orchestrates and executes his mysterious mission.

The children watch in awe. They reflect on their current situation by singing Lorde’s breakout hit “Royals,” a song about overcoming her own humble beginnings.

The spot concludes with a beautiful new pitch that has been constructed in the toughest part of town. The Developer is revealed to be the world’s reigning football star, Lionel Messi, fulfilling his personal mission to help under privileged children.

The events in this story are a dramatic retelling of actual projects completed by the Messi Foundation. The film was directed by Adam Hashemi.

Here’s the actual video:

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43 Reminders That The Internet Is Way Bigger Than You Can Even Imagine

1. Sometimes the internet can feel pretty small…

2. …but the internet is actually huge. Enormous, in fact. GARGANTUAN.

3. …But just how big? Think of it this way: if one byte was equal in size to the largest bacteria on earth (0.5mm) 1MB would equal about 720 feet. Or the size of the Willis Tower.

4. Which would mean that 64 gigabytes —roughly the storage size of an iPad — would be about as big as the circumference of the earth.

5. Pretty crazy, right? And we’re just getting started…

6. Here’s one: did you know that AOL still has 3 million paid dial-up subscriptions? That’s about the same number of people as live in the city of Chicago.

7. Or did you know that Candy Crush brings in around $633,000 per day—that’s more than $230 million a year

8. It’s estimated that over 66 million people play Candy Crush globally (including 25 million on Facebook). That’s more active users than Path, MySpace, Spotify, Evernote, and Pinterest.

9. It’s also larger than the populations of both Thailand and France…

10. In fact, we love to play games online. Between July 2011 and July 2012 gamers played 1,292,502,456 hours of League of Legends online. That’s 147,448 years, if you’re keeping score.

11. We also love photos. Especially the ones we take of ourselves!

12. For instance, Instagram has uploaded over 16 billion photos since it launched in late 2010.

13. Flickr — by comparison — has uploaded half that (8+ billion), despite being six years older.

14. And each day Facebook puts up 300 million user photos, or about seven petabytes of new photo content each month.

15. Videos are cool too. Every day just on Facebook we watch about 500 hours of YouTube video.

16. Over 4 billion YouTube videos are viewed every day.

17. And the average YouTube visitor watches about 338 minutes of video per month

18. And we sure do like to text and send messages…

19. There were about twice as many text messages sent in 2012 (2.2 trillion) than there were Google searches (1.2 trillion).

20. WhatsApp sends nearly 68 times as many messages each day (27 billion) than Twitter sends tweets (400 million ).

21. Weibo sends roughly 7 times more messages per minute (729,571) than Twitter (100,000).

22. We also like to use the internet to ‘get to know one another’

23. Out of 54 million single Americans, roughly 40 million have tried online dating.

24. There are more registered users on eHarmony (20 million) than Twitter’s video companion, Vine (13 million). Annual revenue for the online dating industry is projected at $1.049 Billion for 2013.

25. And of course there’s porn. Copious and bountiful porn!

26. In 2012, YouPorn told Extreme Tech that the site pulls in 100 million page views per day, noting that at peak hours, its sees 4,000 page views and streams nearly 100 gigabytes per second.

27. The same study estimates that nearly 2% of all internet traffic is porn. Though, nobody knows for certain.

28. But enough unsavory stuff. Hey, remember email! Well, there are 2.2 billion email users worldwide

29. And it’s estimated we sent 144 billion emails per day in 2012…

30. And out of all of those billions of communications 61% were were “non-essential” and 68.8% were marked as spam.

31. We also like to use the internet to deliver food to our lazy, atrophied bodies. And in 2012, delivery services Seamless and GrubHub did a combined $875 million in takeout sales.

32. Trendy food is popular online, too. In 2012 Seamless users ordered 30,174 kale dishes.

33. It’s a lot to take in, we know…

34. But we must keep going! Here’s one! Did you know that more people use Yahoo Mail monthly (281 million) than Twitter (200 million)?

35. But they’re both dwarfed by WeChat, which now has over 400 million users, despite the fact that you may have never heard of it.

36. Ok! Time for the lightning round!

37. Here’s some crazy stuff that happens every 60 seconds online:

38. 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube…

Can The Internet Catch Susie Ko’s Killer?

Susie Ko, mother of four. Police believe that she was murdered during a robbery last Friday night. Flickr: simonko

When Sophia Ko, 24, woke up on Saturday morning in Orange County and plugged in her phone, she knew something was wrong: Her inbox was filled with urgent messages from close family members. Her mother, Susie Ko, had been murdered.
The first thing Ko wanted to do after she heard the shocking news was get in the car. “I wanted to go back home to my dad,” she said.

But even as the family mobilized around their grief — Susie Ko, 55, was a retired schoolteacher, beloved member of the local community and mother of four — their thoughts turned to how to solve the crime. She was last seen alive around 7 p.m. Her husband called the neighbors to check on her when she failed to pick him up at the Oakland airport around 11 p.m. When neighbors found her, she had been stabbed to death. The only real clue was that her blue Subaru, last seen parked in the driveway, was missing.

The 21st century solution? Make a website and a Facebook page and flood the internet with information about Ko’s death and the car. “My brother is a concept artist. He has a lot of talent with Photoshop and the web,” said Sophia Ko, “and I work with a lot of social media. We put our talents together to make this happen.” Their sister also works at Google. In other words, the Ko family is well-equipped to make the most of the social web to find their mother’s killer.

A Facebook event page went up almost immediately, on Saturday, as did a WordPress website. A separate Facebook fan page went up on Sunday night. Already, Ko said, they’ve managed to get the word out far and wide: Auto blog Jalopnik ran an item, as did Nerdreactor, a video game website, noting that Simon Ko works at Neversoft Entertainment. A Flickr page for images, as well as Twitter hashtags, have been deployed, along with instructions to post links to the site on places like Reddit. (Already on Reddit, info has been posted on a number of boards: This thread had over 100 comments.) As of this writing, WeLoveSusieKo has gotten over 100,000 hits, and the Facebook page has almost 10,000 people listed as part of the “event.”

The Kos are not the first people to try to use the web to help solve a case, of course, but their speed and the specificity of their message stand out. It’s a strategy with risk, though. As the younger Ko explained, the decision to go public with their plea for help meant opening up their lives during an immensely difficult time. “We put our lives out there to make people realize we are real people,” she said. At first, comments accused the site of being fake, one of a spate of recently unmasked attempts to obtain sympathy and money through deception. “The more we put our story out there, the more people believe that this is not a hoax or a scam. We did have those people who left stupid or rude comments, but I understand that. You see these kind of things a lot on the internet,” she said.

As for the car, it remains at large. Ko said that if anyone spots a car that they think might be the blue Subaru, the best thing is to try to verify the license plates — or note that the car’s plates have been removed. Then, call the numbers listed on the site and try to safely follow the car. As the comments on the Facebook page show in a kind of real-time crowdsourced investigation, a number of tips have come in, including a lead in Southern California. “In the past day,” Ko said, “I’ve had more hope that this will work.”

Updated, 10 p.m., 10/9

The family has released an updated image to share, with more details from the missing car.

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Wombats Are Like Facebook

Never not funny. Just go here, click where it says “chairs” and type in anything you please. Then put it in the comments! A few of our better ideas:

In case you missed it, here’s the original ad:

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