- Imgur, the image-sharing app with 300 million users, introduced an app for gamers called Melee: Gaming Communities. The app lets gamers and esports fans watch gaming highlights, follow top gamers, discuss their favorite games and see reviews, videos and trending memes, per a blog post.
- Melee users can vote on posts they like, helping others to discover trending memes that are related to gaming, including video games, board games and role-playing games like "Dungeons & Dragons." Melee users also can join online communities by following game titles — everything from multiplayer videogames like "Fortnite" to board games like Scrabble.
- Melee is available to download for free from Apple's App Store, and will expand to Android during the first quarter of next year and to desktop later. Melee is integrated with Twitch, the livestreaming platform aimed at gamers, VentureBeat reported.
Imgur's creation of Melee could give mobile marketers another platform to reach the growing audience of gaming fans. While it's not clear what kind of ad formats Melee has, Imgur sells sponsored posts that appear amid its meme-related content on its main platform.
Imgur says that 74% of Imgur users are younger than 35, and 84% are male, while 83% of its users spend more than three hours a week on its app, according to materials on its website. Gamers are also open to seeing advertising, with 53% of mobile gamers saying ads helped them get updates about products they want, compared with 42% of non-gamers, per researcher Newzoo.
Imgur created Melee after observing that almost half (46%) of Imgur users follow video and board game tags, making gaming one of the most popular themes on the image-sharing app. Melee provides more focused communities centered on individual game titles, helping users to find specific content than the most popular memes or in broader Imgur categories. Almost all (92%) Imgur users consider themselves gamers, and spend an average of 30 minutes a day on the app, TechCrunch reported.
Imgur's creation of a gaming-focused app follows similar efforts by content-sharing platforms to cater to gamers. While Melee is mostly focused on viral video clips and images, other companies are providing actual mini-games to engage this demographic. Giphy, the platform of shareable GIF clips, in October created Giphy Arcade to let users customize micro-games with their own graphics and music and share them with a hyperlink to its website.
Social media companies are also getting in on gaming. Snapchat last year gamified its popular augmented reality lenses to give users another way to interact with each other. Facebook is mostly focused on helping marketers reach gamers through ad insertions, not on creating branded game content. However, carmaker Acura this year debuted an interactive experience on the social network.