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I remember a long time ago people pointing out that it was actually posted to Digg first. Imgur's creator says it was posted to multiple services on the same day [1], but that he deleted the original Reddit post. The post saying it was a "gift to Reddit" came a day after the post to Digg failed to gain traction.

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/9tlwi/im_the_imgur_gu...

It was always kind of a weird thing. For reasons mysterious at the time, reddit suspended lots of the self-promotion rules around imgur which in turn allowed it to grow quite rapidly. I had a friend who actually tried to start another symbiotic for reddit startup at a similar time and reddit admins decided to enforce the no self-promotion rules on him even while letting imgur run free. It was very frustrating for him, fortunately he didn't go in for lots of money on it and was able to shut it down pretty quickly when it was clear reddit wasn't playing fair.

A lingering question at that time was how imgur was paying their obviously enormous bandwidth bills, but /u/mrgrimm was always very vague about the source of his funding.

Long story short, it turns out that reddit had made an investment in imgur at one point while earlier funding was never made public. So reddit was banking on imgur being successful but never made that relationship explicitly public.

There were other weird relationship oddities too, e.g. imgur used to not allow pornography to be uploaded and linked to, except when the referrer came from reddit.com. (if you look up info on imgur and referrer tag weirdness, it's a common pattern)

After imgur started jumping the shark and reddit's entire executive team turned over, they decided to do their own image hosting service. But now they had a well funded plan-b to fall back on if their own hosting service didn't work out.

Imgur has always been very vague and shady about funding, revenue, growth plans. It's assumed that they just wanted to be a non-suck


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