The question is whether Imgur can keep these private channels from turning into sewers.
Imgur has always had a remarkably strong and supportive community, driven by the fact that everyone is united by the same homepage of top content, rather than seeing personalized feeds like on most social networks. There’s the hatred of reposts of old content, enthusiasm for introverts scoring little wins in work or love, and the deification of Imgur’s curly-haired community manager Sarah Schaaf.
Anyone can send anyone a message without the need to “friend” each other, and there are no defined message sending limits in place.
Users are free to send links that could lead to scams and shopping sites.
For the many Imgurians who’ve built long-distance online friendships on the site, chat will draw them deeper into the service rather than forcing them out onto some other communication tool.
Following allows people to select their favorite Imgur accounts and get notified if one of their submissions gets enough upvotes to hit the “Most Viral” page.
And after being bootstrapped for five years, it’s only raised one funding round of million in 2014, led by Andreessen Horowitz.
But they’ve been focused on keeping out broadcasted content that’s largely image-based.
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Unfortunately, the chat feature feels a bit half-baked in ways that could be problematic when unleashed on such a massive community.
Imgur is full of power users, with 82% spending over 3 hours a week on the service as of last year.