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9GAG new logo.svg
Type Private
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Ray Chan
Chris Chan
Key people Ray Chan (CEO)
Slogan(s) Why So Serious? and 9GAG is your best source of fun.
Website 9gag.com
Alexa rank 253 (June 2014)[1]
Type of site Social news
Advertising Banner ads
Registration Optional (required to submit, comment or vote)
Available in Multilingual
Current status Active

9GAG, Inc. operates an online platform, and a social media website whereby users upload and share "user-generated" images, videos, and GIFs. 9GAG, Inc. is based in Mountain View, California. Since the website was launched on April 23rd, 2008, it has grown in popularity, reaching more than 20 million Facebook “likes”[2] and over 3 million Twitter followers in mid-September 2014.[3]


The website was cofounded in 2008 by University of Hong Kong student Chris Chan, with the intention of creating an alternative online platform to email on which users could easily share humorous photos or videos. The website began as a "side project" during a time period when Facebook wasn't available in Hong Kong. In a 2012 interview, Chan declined to explain where the name "9GAG" is derived from.[4]

Starting the company under a “Just for Fun” mentality, 9GAG's co-founders began using 9GAG as a résumé-builder for the 500 Startups accelerator program. During the summer program, the 9GAG team worked on other startup ideas, including StartupQuote and Songboard. [5] Following the 500 Startups accelerator program, 9GAG participated in Y Combinator's incubator and its user-base increased to 70 million global unique visitors per month.[6] The 9GAG co-founding team discontinued all other projects and shifted their focus on solely 9GAG. 500 Startups was given equity for their aid and mentorship.

In July 2012, 9GAG raised an additional US$2.8 million in funding from Silicon Valley-based venture capital behemoths,[7] including True Ventures and Greycroft Partners. The company later released an iOS iPhone application.

In August 2012, 9GAG received another US$2.8 million in funding from Silicon Valley venture capitalists, including True Ventures and Greycroft Partners, as well as individual investors like Christopher Sacca, Kevin Rose, and Naval Ravikant. This funding was able to support 9GAG's engineering team growth both in Hong Kong and in Silicon Valley.[8]

Mobile app development[edit]

9GAG's development team created a mobile application for the website on iOS, Android and Window phones. To further company exposure, 9GAG founders recently launched 9GAG.tv, a platform including videos only.[9][10]

In July 2012, 9GAG successfully launched their 9GAG app for iOS products available in the Apple App Store and for Android products in the Play Store. The 9GAG mobile applications serve as a streamlined version of the web-based content. Multiple enhancements were put into the mobiles apps allowing mobile users to easily explore original or attributed entertainment content—one post after another; and effortlessly forward entertaining visual content to others via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Also incorporated into the mobile apps are fully zoomable, high resolution images and automatic download to support offline browsing.[11]

Within a year of the original mobile app launch, 9GAG launched another app for iOS entitled, "9GAG Fast." Unlike the original 9GAG mobile app, 9GAG Fast was created with the idea of being really easy to use. The description of the 9GAG Fast in the Apple App Store simple says, "Super intuitive and dead easy to use, SWIPE, TAP, AND ZOOM. BAM WHAM..."[12] For the android operating system, 9GAG First was created with ideally the same idea as 9GAG Fast.[13] In summer 2014 9CHAT was invented. 9GAG user are able to log in with their account and write to stranger by sending them a message. 9CHAT improved by allowing to create groups in different sections. It's possible to write with more people at the same time. [14]


  • 9GAG is written in a combination of HTML/CSS and JavaScript.
  • The JavaScript code handles the client-side and is used to support GIFs and other images uploaded onto the website.
  • While earlier versions of the website used JavaScript libraries like Jquery and Modernizr, the most recent version does not.
  • PHP, more specifically via the Expression Engine, handles the server-side in order to retrieve and request data to produce new web pages.
  • 9GAG is hosted on GoDaddy, operating as an SSL certificate authority, and runs on Nginx.
  • The site is supported on the Amazon Route 53 nameserver.[15][16]


  • The website's content is generally referred to as "memes" or "internet jokes", is upvoted, downvoted, and commented on by users based on its popularity at a given time.[17]
  • Similar to other social media websites like reddit and Digg, 9GAG utilizes user-generated memes that are shared with the entire 9GAG community. While memes have different categories, they are typically displayed as humorous images, or comic strips, with captions conveying certain messages.[18]
  • Content is separated into the following general categories of hot, trending, fresh, TV, girl, guy, comic, NSFW, cosplay, geeky, timely, meme, WTF, and a few others such as cute, food, Gifs. The website allows users to up-vote or down-vote memes, followed by long comment threads where users comment on the image/video content and on each other's comments.
  • Most of 9GAG's content is presented in the form of image memes, whereby animal-related image memes (i.e., Advice Animals or Advice Dogs) tend to be the most popular.
  • Other popular image memes include the Confession Bear, Overly Attached Girlfriend, First World Problems, Awkward Penguin, Scumbag Steve, Bad Luck Brian, Socially Awkward Penguins, and several others.
  • These image memes are typically formatted whereby a given image has both top and bottom captions. While the top caption describes a certain situation, the bottom caption usually complements the top caption by presenting a humorous follow up message to the original situation.
  • Memes are commonly presented in a 4x4 comic strip.
  • The "Rage Comic" was the first meme to be presented in this fashion, depicting an irritable circumstance where the last image frame displays the letters "FU" (i.e. the first two letters of the word "fuck").[citation needed]
  • Rage comics were later spun off to include memes under "Everything Went Better Than Expected" and "Forever Alone" categories, amongst others.[citation needed]

Website culture[edit]

  • 9GAG users are commonly referred to as "9gaggers".
  • Most of the website's traffic occurs at locations like school or the workplace.[citation needed]
  • According to cofounder Ray Chan, 9GAG should be a platform "where people will go whenever they want to kill some time and have a laugh."[18]

Reception and data[edit]

In July 2012, Chris Chan reported in an interview that the website received more than 80 million unique visitors and 2 billion page views in the preceding 30 days.[4]

According to Alexa Internet, Inc., a firm that provides web traffic metrics, much of 9GAG’s online traffic occurs from within the United States (8.6%), followed by India (7.8%), Germany (7%), Mexico (4.8%), and France (4.3%). Most popular among teenagers, 9GAG users are commonly between the age of 18-25, and are predominantly from educational backgrounds like "no college" or "some college."[19]

Alongside reddit, 9GAG has brought internet memes to the mainstream audience, growing in popularity due to the website's integration with other social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.[citation needed] In contrast to other meme-generating websites like 4chan, commonly associated with offensive content (i.e., racism, sexism, pornography, and gore)[citation needed], 9GAG's close relationship with large social media platforms has fostered less offensive content[citation needed],hence able to attract larger audiences to the website.[19]

Website controversies[edit]

Authorship controversies[edit]

9GAG users have also commonly re-posted (without any consent from its respective authors) content found on other humor related websites like 4chan, FunnyJunk, Newgrounds, reddit, SomethingAwful, and YTMND, often with a 9GAG watermark. In 2011, 9GAG and 4chan disputed authorship of internet memes published on both websites, whereby each company claimed the memes originated in their own website. Evidence seems to support 4chan's claim that most of the disputed content was created by 4chan users. As stated by 9GAG co-founder Ray Chan, "9GAG does not create memes or rage comics, but helps spread them." 9GAG also adopted 4chan's "legion" and “hearth of the internet” nicknames.[20][better source needed][21][better source needed]


  1. ^ "9gag.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  2. ^ "9GAG". 9GAG on Facebook. Facebook. October 2008. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "9GAG". 9GAG on Twitter. Twitter. October 2008. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Fiona Ren (24 July 2012). "How Ray Chan started 9GAG, and a career in fun". Meld Magazine. Meld Magazine. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Mott, Nathaniel (2012-08-21). "9GAG, the Biggest Little Startup at Y Combinator’s Demo Day | PandoDaily". Pando.com. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  6. ^ "Jokes aside, 9GAG’s co-founder Ray Chan shares about the serious side of their latest US$2.8M round". E27.co. 2012-08-08. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  7. ^ "Project st@rt-up | South China Morning Post". Scmp.com. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  8. ^ "Meet 9GAG, the Community Comedy Site That's Growing Like Crazy - Liz Gannes - Social". AllThingsD. 2012-04-12. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  9. ^ "Behind 9gag. Its business modelFix Need". Fixneed.com. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  10. ^ http://9gag.tv/
  11. ^ "Humor Website 9GAG Ups the Ante for Fun, Launches New Mobile App and Receives $2.8 Million in Seed Funding". Marketwired.com. 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  12. ^ "Connecting to the iTunes Store.". Itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "9GAG First - Android Apps on Google Play". Play.google.com. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  14. ^ http://9chatapp.com/
  15. ^ "Web Technologies used by 9gag.com". W3techs.com. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "9gag.com Technology Profile". Builtwith.com. 2011-01-03. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  17. ^ "Y Combinator S12 Demo Day Batch 1: Meet 9GAG, Double Robotics, Hubchilla, SmartAsset And More". TechCrunch. 2012-08-21. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  18. ^ a b "Meet 9GAG, the Community Comedy Site That's Growing Like Crazy - Liz Gannes - Social - AllThingsD". AllThingsD. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  19. ^ a b "Alexa Site Overview". Alexa.com. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  20. ^ Seitz, Dan (September 12, 2012). "Redditor Details 9Gag’s Theft Process". UPROXX. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  21. ^ Eördögh, Fruzsina (June 4, 2012). "Internet pounces on 9GAG after joke theft". Daily Dot. Daily Dot. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 

External links[edit]