Those who rarely use Reddit believe it’s just a community platform where users discuss various topics. However, Reddit is much more than that.
Based on Reddit statistics this platform is projected to reach $2 billion in revenue by the end of 2021. Reddit also has about 52 million daily active users globally and gets over 46.7 million daily searches. In 2020 alone, its users uploaded 303.4 million posts to about 2.9 million subreddits.
Today, this platform is known for being a social news site and forum with curated content. It’s free to register and easy to use. However, Reddit wasn’t popular from the get-go. Here’s how it all started.
Two University of Virginia graduates, Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, launched Reddit back in 2005. Since their primary project, My Mobile Menu, was unsuccessful, they came up with a website that could be the “front page of the internet.”
The startup incubator Y Combinator provided $100,000 to help start the project. At first, the founders posted from fake accounts to make the website look active and popular.
In 2006, Steve and Alexis sold Reddit to Condé Nast Publication for a reported $10–$20 million. At the time, the platform had 500,000 daily views. Soon after, in 2009, Steve and Alexis left Reddit. Huffman founded Hipmunk with Adam Goldstein in 2010 and was later joined by Ohanian.
Original Founders Leave
After Reddit became the subsidiary of Condé Nast’s parent company, a few years went by, and in 2011 the platform outranked Digg. In 2012, the platform joined the Internet Defence League.
Back then, Digg was a major competitor that dominated the online discussion space. However, Reddit managed to surpass it, and Yishan Wong became its CEO in the same year.
Additionally, as Reddit grew in popularity, controversial events started happening, including a nude celebrity photo leak, hate speech, and similar. During 2014, the team also had issues with relocating from San Francisco to Daly City. At the time, the number of users grew from 35 million to 174 million.
Wong also helped the company raise $50 million in funding. Reddit also started accepting Bitcoin as a payment option, and users could purchase Reddit Gold subscription services via Coinbase in 2013.
Unfortunately, Wong ended up being criticized.
As the calls for stepping down increased, Wong decided to quit his position one year later. Even though he stated that he only wanted to protect the platform he loved, he also said he was completely worn out.
Ellen Pao became the new CEO, and Alexis returned to be an executive chairman to help Reddit out. At the time, newspapers started writing about the platform even more. However, even though the traffic was high in numbers, no viable business model could bring in more money.
Reddit Loses Another CEO
In 2015, Pao quit his job as an CEO, and Steve Huffman took over. He launched iOS and Android mobile apps, updated the Reddit mobile website, and set up A/B testing. In 2018, Reddit went through a major redesign that turned an old-looking platform into a modern online forum site.
Huffman also introduced many new features, such as private messaging and the option to hide comments and posts. In addition, new content guidelines were posted to control the online community, banning content that included violence and offensive material.
He is also the current CEO of the platform and is working with Alexis to execute their vision.
In 2020, Alexis resigned as a member of the board, inspired by George Floyd protests. He then asked to be replaced by a Black candidate.
Reddit acquired a video social platform Dubsmash in 2020 with the intention to implement video content.
In 2021, Drew Vollero, an employee at SNAP, became Reddit’s first Chief Financial Officer. At the moment, senior leaders are considering an initial public offering.
Some of the best topics that people are looking for on Reddit today are humor, news, science, and the Reddit platform. This is why r/announcements is one of the most popular subreddits with 88.39 million subscribers.
The platform is a collection of photos, videos, links, and textual posts, all being a neat mix of user-generated content.
One of its key features involves upvoting and downvoting, where the most upvoted post gets shown to more users. The same goes for comments. The most popular posts are shown on the homepage, and even those who browse the platform without an account can view them.
Today’s users enjoy many features like rewards and coins, which they use to send to other redditors if they like their comments or posts.
Additionally, even though Reddit went through a redesign, it still allowed users to post using the Old Reddit until 2019.
What’s the Future of Reddit?
Reddit is here to stay. The first reason is that it shapes the internet culture and the foundation of future generations. Second, while it may not seem important, people have developed a unique way in which they communicate online via memes, jokes, and other content.
The third reason might be that Reddit changes how people communicate with one another. The platform allows for many events, like crowdfunding or the popular Ask Me Anything (AMA) event, where information is freely shared with all.
Still, the most important feature of all is Reddit’s power to remove fake news. That’s a breath of fresh air in the online world packed with false information.
Since 2005, Reddit has grown to become an important part of the internet. Even though it has had many CEOs, the platform has succeeded in executing its vision. Today, everyone on the internet knows that this is the place to look for answers.
What’s more, it’s a place that supports human connections and gives way to freedom. Overall, Reddit has a bright future ahead, even though its past was turbulent. It’s a unique platform, and it will likely remain active as one of the most popular online communities for a long time.