Standard image-sharing web site Imgur has been acquired by MediaLab, a Santa Monica-based agency that describes itself as a “holding company of consumer internet brands.” The corporate owns a lot of B-list tech and web providers, together with messaging apps Kik and Whisper, lyrics annotator Genius, and viral video aggregator WorldStarHipHop.

Imgur, which at present claims some 300 million customers, says the transfer will assist the corporate “keep the main Imgur team focused on what we do best: creating the best place for community-powered entertainment online.” In a blog post, the corporate stated “Imgur’s journey is far from over” and that MediaLab is committing to “investing more resources in engineering and community.”

What precisely the acquisition means for the way forward for Imgur is unclear, however it’s onerous to learn this as constructive information for the positioning. MediaLab isn’t express about its enterprise mannequin (you received’t discover a lot data on their website), however it appears to be primarily targeted on buying ailing manufacturers with sizable, however stagnant, communities. Presumably, the objective is to bundle collectively site visitors from these properties to promote advertisements or information, whereas chopping prices by sharing the work of protecting the websites working.

For instance, the once-hyped Genius was purchased by MediaLab earlier this month for $80 million, reportedly lower than what it had raised in enterprise capital over time. Kik and Whisper have been equally once-hot properties which have since pale from prominence.

Imgur itself has had an odd trip as an organization. It was based in 2009 as a “gift to Reddit,” and its fortunes have risen and fallen together with this partnership. In 2016, Reddit determined to host its own image uploads, and in response Imgur started to kind itself right into a standalone on-line group. It copied numerous social options fashionable on Reddit, together with upvotes and downvotes on photos, remark threads, and targeted communities. The positioning has ceaselessly been in comparison with different image-hosting providers that grew adjoining to bigger social media websites, reminiscent of Twitpic, however has to this point laster longer by itself strengths. In recent times it has launched new options like an ad-free subscription service.

Imgur’s weblog submit asserting the acquisition reads like one thing near a farewell observe — “It’s been an absolute honor to create this corner of the internet alongside this incredible community” — although the corporate insists its “journey is far from over.”

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