At the first official meetup of the image-sharing site Imgur in San Francisco, head of community Sarah Schaaf says that people started running up and wrapping each other in huge hugs. They had never met in person before, but had been exchanging jokes and photos online for years.
The giant outdoor picnic had a bounce house, lots of games, and “Imgurians” flying in from as far as Georgia.
Schaaf, the wife of founder Alan Schaaf, has been working with him on the site since the beginning, and says that she’s found that Imgurians have this undertone of niceness that you don’t see on other sites. Even though people usually come to the site because of some sort of negative feeling — like boredom or loneliness — they get hooked because of the positive, close-knit community, Schaaf says.
Right now, Imgur is getting 130 million monthly unique views, making it bigger than Reddit. People upload more than 1.5 million images every day, and, on average, Imgur users leave more than 5.5 million comments each month.
“We want to get people off of the internet, and into the ‘outernet,'” Schaaf says.
And when they do, it can sometimes even lead to falling in love …
Sasha joined Imgur and an Imgur-related Facebook group in 2012. She was going through a divorce and her grandmother had just died. She says that Imgurians 'sent me messages, photos and funny songs to help me through a horrible time in my life.'
They started Skyping every night for a month before deciding it was time to meet in person. Before the year ended, they had moved in together.
The couple had several Imgur friends fly or drive in for the wedding. People came from Washington, Florida, Michigan, New York, Texas, Delaware, Nevada, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Tennessee, and from other parts of Ohio.
NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.