Imgur has historically been known as the image provider of choice for Reddit, but its recently-released galleries feature is helping to transform the site from an invisible image provider to a prime destination for viewing photos. According to TechCrunch, the site served up 3.6 billion pageviews to 56 million unique visitors — that's up from the one billion pageviews it hit last year. Of particular note is the fact that Imgur said more than 40 percent of its pageviews came from direct vistors to the site (rather than being referred from other sites like Reddit) — Imgur's founder said a big part of that traffic was thanks to its gallery feature. It's a big step from being a faceless provider on the back-end of Reddit to being a independently successful site. As we heard back in October, Imgur is envisioning itself as the YouTube of photos, so breaking its dependency on Reddit and emerging as a must-visit destination should help it achieve those goals.