Reddit is breaking up with Imgur after a seven year relationship.
Reddit relied on Imgur’s platform to host and upload users’ pictures and GIFs, but in a conscious uncoupling announcement posted on Reddit’s blog last night, the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet” said that’s soon coming to an end.
Without explicitly naming Imgur, a Reddit manager said the change is aimed at giving users a “more seamless experience” since the current process of uploading to a third-party platform is cumbersome to figure out for new users and siphons traffic.
For the most part, Reddit users welcomed the change since there have some complaints of Imgur’s linking hiccups on mobile which would direct people to ad-filled pages instead of the image they wanted.
“Imgur has been getting as bad as photobucket and the like from back in the day, and I’m not going to start using slimgur,” a Reddit user wrote. Another person added: “Imgur’s monetization strategy is just too intrusive, and given how they’re discouraging direct links, which load much faster, there’s no good alternative.”
Reddit isn’t barring third-party services so people can still use Imgur if they want, but it’s still a blow for Imgur since Reddit was crucial to its growth.
Imgur said in a statement the change “isn’t a surprise” and it’s continuing to evolve into an ad-supported social network of its own. “We’re super focused on our mission to surface up the world’s most entertaining content and making Imgur the best visual community in the world,” it said.
Imgur has been pitching itself to advertisers as of late, perhaps aware that the shift was coming. In its pitch deck, obtained by Digiday, the photo-sharing service claims to have 150 million monthly visits from U.S. millennial males, an attractive demographic that’s notoriously hard to pin down.
That, however, isn’t a guaranteed success. “It’s a massive platform, and they need to make it work, and most advertisers are not ready for it,” Baldwin Cunningham, co-founder of Partnered, told Digiday at the time.