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Right, but why not just pay imgur some $$$ for the privilege of a simple little upload form? That seems like a far smarter idea. Now Reddit is responsible for running not only its current business but also an entirely separate image hosting business. Keep in mind how ridiculously expensive it is to run an image host. Even imgur, which is by far the most acceptable of the popular hosts, has a ton of obtrusive ads.

I have a feeling that this image upload thing was dreamed up by an intern who thought "oh, this would improve our user flow!" while not realizing it might literally double the company's costs in exchange for a gain of a few percentage points more users.

Reddit can't run obtrusive ads (they'd piss off their user base) so where is that money going to come from?

Example reddit url: https://i.redd.it/2n0gpcrfes4z.jpg

Example imgur url: http://i.imgur.com/ykbUTZG.jpg (and that can even be shortened to http://imgur.com/ykbUTZG)

The money argument is an odd one to make. Why would paying imgur money per image be substantially different cost wise to self hosting? At reddit's scale, it would be a similar hosting cost whether done in house or passed along to a 3rd party. The difference is that with in house, Reddit maintains more control over the underlying image data. If it costs $x million to host all reddit's submitted images for a year, imgur isn't going to magically let Reddit pay them less than that. (Assuming direct linking, i.e. no imgur ads, which is what you want to be able to best deal with embedding the images inline on Reddit)

And those URL lengths are both fine. No one is typing those in manually very often. (Reddit's URLs used to have a bunch of long query params - those were a bit ridiculous)

>so where is that money going to come from?

presumably ownership of the image.

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