Imgur, the free online image hosting site, hosts hundreds of thousands of new images daily. The majority of the photos are uploaded and posted directly to Reddit, supplying the site with the cat GIFs and image macros fill the site's labyrinth of threads.
As it turns out, Imgur has created a way to watch this phenomenon as it happens. Somewhat similar to Vinepeek, which creates an endless stream of Vine videos as they're uploaded, Imgur's allows anyone (at their own risk!) to follow unedited, user submitted photos in real time — as long as you're willing to refresh your browser every few minutes.
The end result is a new way to take in the overwhelming experience of Reddit, essentially reverse-engineering posts by image instead of title. While the material is what anyone familiar with the site would expect — silly reaction GIFs, bikini and lingerie photos, and a smattering of insensitive/offensive meme images — the site's contents feature almost no nudity and few graphic pictures. More often, each refresh is a snapshot of Reddit's vast and peculiar world at that instant.
It can be a bit mesmerizing. Spend enough time and small trends appear, like a host of GIFs and images making light of North Korean nuclear threats and Kim Jong-un.
For those unfamiliar with Reddit's ways and contents, it could be a quick — albeit, risky — way to understand the site's spirit, for lack of a better word. If nothing else, it's certainly an interesting way to kill a few minutes.
Charlie Warzel is a Senior Technology Writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in Missoula, Montana
Contact Charlie Warzel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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