Imgur monetizes with user-friendly promoted posts

The popular online community integrates native ads into users' feeds


Faster launch vs from scratch


Average response time


Higher CPMs vs banner ads

What Imgur Wanted

Imgur is an online image sharing community, with over 300M monthly pageviews and have tens of millions of app downloads.

As they grew, Imgur realized they had an untapped revenue opportunity: native promoted posts, like those on Twitter and Facebook. Unfortunately, Google Ad Manager, which they used for their display ads, couldn't provide the flexibility they needed, and they didn't have the time or resources to build the ad platform entirely from scratch.

So Imgur turned to Kevel's ad serving APIs. They outsourced the complicated, commoditized parts of ad serving to Kevel — like reporting, targeting, and decisioning — and instead focused their efforts on ad strategy, user feedback, and front-end work.

Within a few weeks, Imgur had launched a high-margin native ad product that their users not only didn't mind, but actually enjoyed!

imgur promoted listing

Imgur's promoted posts are a user-friendly, high-margin revenue stream

These promoted posts flow nicely in the user experience and share characteristics with organic posts: they are visual, have playful content, can be up/down voted, and can be commented on.

  • These ads draw 20x+ CPMs as compared to programmatic banner ads
  • Advertisers pay premiums for these engaging ad units
  • First-party-data targeting ensures relevance

"Integration with Kevel's APIs was fast - and their flexible tools allow us to continually test and improve our native ad units."

– Senior DevOps Engineer, Imgur

request response

Server-side integration means these native ads blend in

All of the Kevel-powered promoted posts are white-labeled and the decisions are requested server-side — giving Imgur total control over how the promotions are displayed.

  • Kevel-powered ads look just like standard user-generated posts
  • Ad response times as low as 50ms, even at scale
  • Imgur built this bespoke, complex platform in just weeks

"We tried Google Ad Manager for native advertising, and it failed. Only Kevel's server-side approach worked for us."

– Senior DevOps Engineer, Imgur

campaign settings

Automation makes managing these ads easy

Imgur employs Kevel's UI and Management APIs to automate the start/end dates of campaigns, as well as specify pacing and caps - ensuring that their advertisers don't go over budgets.

  • 90% reduction in ad set-up times
  • Makes forecasting and budgeting easier

imgur promoted post

Users actually like these ads

The ad units are well-received by Imgur's user community. Given that the promoted posts provide value and match Imgur's tone, commenters treat the post like they would any other.

"Our promoted posts are a competitive differentiator, and Kevel provided the plumbing for us to launch them quickly."

– Senior DevOps Engineer, Imgur

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