Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How imeem Works


Director of business development for Imeem Ethan Applen (L) and president and co-CEO of special ops media Jason Klein speak during the Broadband Video Revolution Panel Discussion at the American Film Market.
Director of business development for Imeem Ethan Applen (L) and president and co-CEO of special ops media Jason Klein speak during the Broadband Video Revolution Panel Discussion at the American Film Market.
Thos Robinson/Getty Images

Social networks are more popular in 2009 than ever before. Web sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have changed how people use the Internet. Instead of only interacting with the Web, users are interacting with each other at an unprecedented rate. As if May 2009, Facebook had amassed an astonishing 225 million users and should top 300 million by the year's end [source: O'Neill].

YouTube allows people to post videos of pretty much anything, and they've done so in spades. In May 2009, YouTube account holders uploaded content at a rate of 20 hours per minute [source: YouTube]. You can also use a site like Flickr to upload photos and iTunes to download songs without ever leaving your chair. Some numbers for these sites? Try 42 million visitors per month for Flickr and 5 billion songs sold on iTunes as of June 2008 [sources: Jones, Apple]. The popular Web site Pandora let's music lovers create their own radio station from playlists of artists they like, to the tune of about a million visitors per day [source: Webster].

You're probably getting the picture that the modern Internet user is into sharing things with his or her cyber-neighbor. It was this inspiration that drove Dalton Caldwell and Jan Jannik to create Imeem.com. Imeem is a social network that allows users to share music, videos and images. Sure, you can do this on Facebook and MySpace and other social networking sites, but this is imeem's central focus. Caldwell and Jannik wanted to create a place where folks could share their favorite songs and bands with each other, and where users can listen to streamed music for free or buy it if it suits their fancy. In 2004, Imeem.com was launched. It brought together some of the facets of iTunes, YouTube, Flickr and Pandora and dressed it in the familiar clothes of a social networking site.

If the name sounds funny to you, consider the source. It comes from the word "meme" -- a term coined by author Richard Dawkins describing ideas that groups of people adopt and express to each other. By any name, Imeem has been a hit with users so far. In 2008, the site received more than 20 million users per month [source: Graham].