Imgur, the massive community-based photo repository that is a major source of the Web’s memes and comedic images, is expanding its influence to become more than just a basic, free photo hosting service by introducing new Topics feature to help users discover content.
The way Imgur had worked was simple, but it had few categorization tools for content other than voting for a picture or animated GIF, and a search bar on the top of the page. Now, Imgur has implemented a stronger categorization feature to help users better find and explore the massive database of content. With the Imgur-generated Topics (which appear on Imgur’s main navigation pane), there will be a variety of subjects – for example, Funny, Storytime, Reaction, Design & Art, and Current Events. Also, special event topics will pop up from time to time if something interesting is happening that warrants it, and these will have a limited duration. More topics will roll out over time.
With the Topics feature, all content is assigned one topic per post. This may create conflict when content doesn’t fit into any one category, but it would create a streamlined experience. Also, you won’t be able to vote on topics like you would with an image; topics are just there for categorization purposes.
In relation to this is the user-created Tags feature launched last summer. It will complement Topics as a way to enhance the search capabilities. When a Topic is selected for an image, Imgur will provide tag suggestions.
“Our launch of tagging this past summer demonstrated the power of the community to organize images around topics that Imgurians care about,”says Imgur’s product head, Sam Gerstenzang, in a release. “With Topics, we’re making it even easier to explore that content in depth, while refining tagging to allow our community to shine.”
Imgur also recently introduced Video to GIF, which handily takes videos from a selection of major video hosting sites and turns them into GIFs for you. You can choose a beginning and end-point, so you don’t need to worry about the video having some footage you don’t want in the final GIF.