Imgur now offers analytics for all those viral cat photos

Thanks to a never-ending firehose of memes and a place as the de facto image host for the masses at Reddit, Imgur is now a go-to site for quickly hosting images online. Recognizing the influx of photos — up to 1.5 million uploads daily, according to the company — Imgur plans to announce Tuesday an analytics platform for brands, advertisers and Pro members.

The press release focused on the role of analytics in the recognizing when a photo will storm the internet:

“To understand image popularity, Imgur has always logged how many views an image receives over time. Imgur will now look deeper into how images are shared and where they travel online, to better understand what drives the popularity of image content that ‘goes viral.'”

The analytics platform doesn’t offer anything revolutionary in the way of features: image views over time, graphical representations of data, top referrals and referral details are all present, and fairly straightforward.

However, it’s clear that with this platform, Imgur wants to get in tighter with brands. When native advertising relies on images (think a quick list on BuzzFeed, for example), companies could use Imgur to easily track the effectiveness of those photos over time, which isn’t really available now. It could be a fast track to a new revenue stream for Imgur and image hosts in general, provided brands will take the bait and see the value in uploading their own images.