|Key people||Ray Chan (CEO)|
|Slogan(s)||Why So Serious?|
|Alexa rank||225 (December 2014[update])|
|Type of site||Entertainment|
|Registration||Optional (required to submit, comment or vote)|
9GAG, Inc. operates an online platform and social media website. Users upload and share "user-generated" images and videos. 9GAG, Inc. is based in Mountain View, California. Since the website was launched on April 23, 2008, it has grown in popularity, reaching more than 20 million Facebook “likes” and over 3 million Twitter followers in mid-September 2014.
The website was cofounded in 2008 by the 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
In July 2012, 9GAG launched an app for iOS and Android. The mobile application serves as a streamlined version of the web-based content. In summer 2014 9GAG launched 9CHAT. 9GAG users are able to log into their account and write to a stranger by sending them a message. 9CHAT improved by allowing the creation of groups in different sections. It's possible to write with more people at the same time. January 2015, 9GAG launched its first game called 9GAG Redhead redemption.
- The website's content is generally referred to as "internet memes", and 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, 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 (e.g., 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.
- Polandball comics have recently become particularly popular.
- 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 (14.1%), followed by India (11.0%), Germany (6.5%), Brazil (4.2%), and Mexico (3.6%).
9GAG users have also commonly re-posted (without any consent from its respective authors) content found on other humor related websites like 4chan, 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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