||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Dutch Wikipedia. (April 2013)|
|Key people||Ray Chan (CEO)|
|Slogan(s)||Why So Serious?|
|Alexa rank||253 (June 2014[update])|
|Type of site||Social news|
|Registration||Optional (required to submit, comment or vote)|
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 in 2008, it has grown in popularity, reaching more than 19 million Facebook “likes” and over 3 million Twitter followers in mid-September 2014.
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.
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.  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. 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, 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.
Mobile app development
9GAG's development team created a mobile application for the website on iOS and Android. To further company exposure, 9GAG founders recently launched 9GAG.tv, a platform including videos only.[not in citation given]
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.
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..." For the android operating system, 9GAG First was created with ideally the same idea as 9GAG Fast.
- 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.
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- 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.
- 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.
- Content is separated into the following general categories of hot, trending, fresh, TV, girl, comic, NSFW, cosplay, 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").
- Rage comics were later spun-off to include memes under "Everything Went Better Than Expected" and "Forever Alone" categories, amongst others.
- 9GAG users are commonly referred to as "9gaggers".
- Most of the website's traffic occurs at locations like school or the workplace.
- 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."
Reception and data
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.
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."
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. In contrast to other meme-generating websites like 4chan, commonly associated with offensive content (i.e., racism, sexism, pornography, and gore), 9GAG's close relationship with large social media platforms has fostered less offensive content,hence able to attract larger audiences to the website.
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.[better source needed][better source needed]
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