In the end it’s an image sharing site. Where you can upload photos, share the URL with others, and have them comment on it. You know, like Flickr or Facebook, or Google+.
Imgur is a bit different though. You don’t need an account to upload an image and while the upload quality is nowhere near as good as Flickr’s, it comes without any sort of restrictions. Imgur is also fast.
On its 6th birthday, Imgur announced that it was making its $3/month Imgur Pro service free for all users. What does that mean? No limits on uploads, albums, and some more perks. Why should you care? Read on to find out.
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Imgur Pro Sitrep
This is what the free account now gives you:
Unlimited photo uploads to albums (previously capped at 255/album)
More thumbnail options
But there’s one thing it doesn’t give you and that’s an ad-free experience. Imgur Pro removed ads from the site, and now you’re stuck with them. But there’s a way around that. Trusty ole ad blocker.
What Can You Use Imgur For?
Why do you need Imgur when you have Flickr, Google+ and more? Imgur is good at some specific things. Consider the following use cases.
Quickly upload images from the web or mobile apps and get a publicly shareable link. You can then send the link to anyone. Because Imgur doesn’t have a lock-in, they won’t need to sign up for an account to view it (like Facebook for example).
Create private albums and share the URL with only the people you want. Imgur’s web view, especially the Blog view is pretty sweet. Upload your latest travel photos, share the link with your friends and family and you’re done.
I’m sure the unlimited free use part has you excited. But as much as I thought and tried, you can’t really use it for productivity purposes. For instance, it can’t replace CloudApp, which lets me take a screenshot and pastes a public link in my clipboard. It would be great if someone created that.
I also would not use Imgur to back up my private photos. First of all, I don’t trust Imgur that much. And secondly, because of the way Imgur is structured, with the community aspect, nothing is truly private there (unless you lock it down completely). I mean, someone can just keep entering random Imgur URLs and stumble upon your de-indexed image.
Get an Account, Change the Settings
While you can upload images to Imgur without creating an account, they’ll be indexed publicly. To prevent that, first sign up for an account and then from the top right, there’s a drop down Gear icon, go to your Account settings.
Here, you’ll see Default Album Privacy. Change that from Public to Hidden. This means the album will only be viewable by users who have the direct link to it. You can also go the Secret route and block the whole thing out.
In the next option – Public vs Private Uploads, choose Private. This will prevent your images from being publicly indexed. Check out Imgur’s help section for privacy for more details.
How Do You Use It?
Apart from looking, uploading, and upvoting cat pictures, what else do you use Imgur for? I mean there are Chrome and Firefox extensions and also an Android app, all with the upload feature to make things easy for you. Share your experience in the comments below.