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Critical review of a Social App - Imgur

21/9/2014

imgur
Imgur (pronounced imager) is a website that allows people to share images as a community and comment/vote on pictures that interest them. This website is also the origin of many, many online 'memes' that seem to be 'the craze' of teenagers in 2014.
"Whoa, hold on a second; this isn't a website where one can share what they ate for lunch, how is this a social media application?"
Lets for a second imagine that is what you're thinking (I hope it isn't), then, lets get something out of the way; the definition of social applications: "A type of software or Web service that allows people to communicate and collaborate while using the application". This to me covers many areas; blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc, however, it also covers areas of which are often forgotten such ad YouTube, and in this case, Imgur. This service allows one to not only share pictures they find funny, but to also collaborate as a community, creating pieces of art and groups of which share specific genres of images (OK, let's forget the bad areas of social media for a second, such as images and memes only immature children could find amusing).
This particular web hosting service holds a user base of which is undeniably strong; over 100 million unique users. That being said, why would one actually use this service? This service provides the internet with many funny pictures, is another a purposes needed? Of-course it is, and one purpose is convenience. Have you ever been in a conversation online and wanted to share a picture with the person you are chatting to? Sure, you could use the file transfer feature found in many IM clients, that however requires you to have decent upload speeds, which not many have unfortunately (thanks NBN). Do not fret! Imgur is here to help you, simply upload an image and paste the URL into the chat, simple! However, this isn't exactly where the 'social' bit comes into play; the area it is used in the comment section of images. Similar to how Facebook allows one to insert comments about the supposed 'selfie' one ../media/posts online, Imgur allows you to comment on images allowing you to voice your opinion on the subject, or to simply splutter out 'AYY LMAO', whichever you fancy.
Getting onto a more serious note, Imgur as a web service doesn't exactly help one to connect with others in a professional sense, it does however allow people to congregate around subjects and topics that people may find interesting, thus I personally view this application as one that you may use as a form of entertainment instead of one used to promote yourself online.
The area of image sharing is 'big business' on the internet in the years prior to and including 2014; everyone seems to want to provide this type of service (heck, I've even created an image hosting service http://upload.awful.pictures) however only Imgur, in my opinion has done it successfully.
The process of creating an account on this particular application is quite painless; you simply provide a username, email and a password, then you are sneakily confronted with a captcha to solve, which is quite normal this day and age. You then activate your account via an email received; then, at this point you can begin uploading!
Avoiding the obvious joke one could make regarding the question revolving around the security of this particular application (" How much personal information do you need to volunteer to sue the App?" - this gave me a much needed laugh, would I have passed the course if I successfully sued Imgur for millions of dollars?), I personally find it to be literally as safe as it gets online anymore. Unlike other services you don't need to provide your real name, location, age etc, you just provide the basics Of-course requesting an email address a few years back would have been regarded a little much, however in the age of today, the age of spam; this is a much needed security feature.
Imgur is an interesting platform used by many people who frequent forums and instant messaging chat rooms as an easy way to share images, and has quite a significant place in the heart of myself and others alike. I personally hope services such as Imgur become more mainstream and develop further, allowing users to create and different features of which have not been thought of at this particular time.
References:
http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imgur
http://www.imgur.com
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e9/Imgur_logo.svg/800px-Imgur_logo.svg.png


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