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Business Operations Business Models

How Does Imgur Make Money (Business and Revenue Model)

The Imgur business model

Imgur logo
Here’s what you should know:
  • What is Imgur, and how does Imgur work?
  • How does Imgur make money?
  • Ad Revenue
  • Imgur API (for Commercial Usage)
  • Subscription Revenue (Imgur Emerald)
  • Selling Merchandise (Imgur Store)
  • Imgur profit and revenue
  • What is the Imgur business and revenue model?
  • Imgur funding, net worth, and valuation
  • Imgur subsidiaries, acquisitions, and exits

How does Imgur make money and how is it free to use? Well, here is a full, in depth, breakdown of their four (4) revenue streams and the different products and services they offer, as well as the Imgur business and revenue model, how much Imgur makes per year, and how Imgur works.

What is Imgur, and how does Imgur work?

Imgur is a social image sharing and image hosting service that is primarily made up of viral images and memes, especially those that are posted on Reddit.

Founded in 2009 by Alan Schaaf, Imgur went on to later get acquired by MediaLab on September 27, 2021, for an undisclosed amount.

Since that time, Imgur now has more than 300 million users who view 60+ billion memes and GIF content on the platform.

So, how does Imgur work? To use Imgur, simply download their mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play store, or visit their website.

Once there, you can use Imgur to search for, share, comment on, save, and or download memes or GIFs, or upload your own.

Some of Imgur’s competitors include GIPHY, Tenor, Gfycat, and other GIF search engines.

Imgur App in Apple App Store | Imgur Business Model | How Does Imgur Make Money? | How Does Imgur Work?
Source: Apple App Store | Imgur

How does Imgur make money?

Imgur has more than 300 million users who view 60+ billion memes and GIF content on the platform, per reports.

So how does Imgur make money off of all these users and engagement?

Below is a breakdown of how much money Imgur makes and its revenue model. Including all revenue streams and how much they charge for their services.

Here are the 4 ways of how Imgur makes money in 2022

Imgur has a revenue model that makes money in four (4) ways; from ad revenue, subscription revenue, using Imgur’s API for commercial use, and selling merch from their online store.

#1. Ad Revenue

Imgur makes most of its money from its advertisers who pay for ads to display on their website and app.

As noted above, Imgur has more than 300 million users worldwide on its platform. Of which each spends an average of 4+ hours per week on it. (Which leads to more ad impressions that lead to more ad revenue for Imgur.)

Imgur ads | Imgur Business Model | How Does Imgur Make Money? | How Does Imgur Work?
Source: Imgur

Note: Imgur has hundreds of brands that advertise with them – including McDonald’s, Hulu, Netflix, and more.

#2. Imgur API (for Commercial Usage)

Imgur’s API is free to use for non-commercial usage. But if a developer wants to pull Imgur’s content through the API for commercial usage (meaning they intend to make money off of using Imgur’s content), then it will cost them.

For this, they also offer three (3) paid subscription tiers; Pro, Ultra, and Mega. All of which offer more uploads and requests, depending on the tier.

Imgur API pricing:

  • Pro: $25 per month*
  • Ultra: $250 per month*
  • Mega: $4,000 per month*

* plus developers are charged + $0.01 for each upload over their plan limit and + $0.001 for each request over their plan limit.

#3. Subscription Revenue (Imgur Emerald)

Imgur also makes money through its subscription service offering, Imgur Emerald. Which they offer through a Coil membership.

Although Imgur is free to use, they also offer a paid subscription tier; Imgur Emerald. Which offers its own set of perks that the free version does not offer like an ad-free experience, unlocking accolades, exclusive avatars & trophies for Emerald member profiles, and more – for a monthly cost. Which you can see below.

How much does Imgur cost? (Imgur Emerald pricing)

  • $5 per month
Imgur Emerald | Imgur Business Model | How Does Imgur Make Money? | How Does Imgur Work?
Source: Imgur

Note: Of Imgur’s more than 300 million users, it’s unclear how many of those users upgraded to Imgur’s paid subscription plan.

#4. Selling Merchandise (Imgur Store)

In addition to advertising and subscription revenue, Imgur also makes money selling their own merchandise through its official online Imgur Store.

Here, they sell branded Imgur apparel, accessories, and more that range in price between $5 to $47.99+.

Imgur profit and revenue

Imgur has not released any official reports in regards to company earnings.

Note: Because Imgur is a privately held company, they are not required to make their annual reporting, such as Form 10-K’s, pubic.

What is the Imgur business and revenue model?

Imgur makes money through a few revenue models that they combine within their company, they are:

  • Freemium (upselling) business model
  • Subscription business model
  • Advertising based business model
  • Fee for service (FFS) business model
  • Business to business (B2B) business model
  • B2B2C (partnerships) business model

Imgur funding, net worth, and valuation

Imgur’s Crunchbase profile shows Imgur has raised $60 million over 2 rounds and has a post-money valuation of $100 million to $500 million as of June 26, 2019.

On September 27, 2021, Imgur was acquired by MediaLab for an undisclosed amount.

Imgur subsidiaries, acquisitions, and exits

To date, Imgur has not made any acquisitions, investments, or exits.