Careers at Reddit
Reddit aims to provide a collaborative online social news bulletin board where community members vote on content. It operates as a subsidiary of Conde Nast’s parent company Advance Publications.
Reddit was founded in 2005 by University of Virginia graduates Alexis Ohanian (“Ohanian”) and Steve Huffman “(Huffman”). The pair had realised that print media news aggregation was not suited to the internet age, realising in particular that an internet community can be a more efficient source of content than traditional media outlets.
Ohanian later approached tech entrepreneur Paul Graham (“Graham”) with the idea for an online, user-controlled news aggregation platform after a talk the former had given at Harvard University. Graham agreed to provide the project with seed capital through his startup fund Y Combinator.
Ohanian and Huffman went on to develop the structure of the site, including its signature up and down voting system. They enlisted the help of Christopher Slowe in 2005 and in early 2006 merged Reddit with Infogami, a company owned by Aaron Swartz. In its early stages the Company’s founders and their team were forced to seed the platform with a number of fake accounts, in order to generate interest.
Ohanian later became friends with Wired reported Rachel Metz, who mentioned the Reddit project to her editor Kristen Philipkoski (“Philipkoski”). Philipkoski had been working on a business development project with Conde Nast, where her husband was an executive. Conde Nast subsequently showed an interest in Reddit and ultimately acquired the platform in 2006 for around $20 million. The platform has since been reorganised to sit directly beneath Conde Nast’s parent company Advance Publications.
Benefits at Reddit
Business model of Reddit
Reddit is targeted at internet users who are interested in curating and sharing content on a community-led platform, and at advertisers that wish to broaden their audience.
Recent research of the platform’s user demographics show that more than half of the site’s users are from the United States, with average users typically being aged between 18 and 29 years old.
Media coverage of Reddit suggests that its users tend to be more private than on other social platforms and are often more technically savvy. Despite this, the platform is targeted at a wide range of users, offering content relating to a full spectrum of topics.
Reddit’s key value propositions are that it provides users access to a democratic, community-driven, content-rich space free of charge, and provides advertisers access to a large audience of regular users.
The Reddit platform presents itself as a social news platform where ideas and interests can be discussed in greater depth, and users with niche interests can interact with like-minds. The ability of users to vote and actively affect the content of the site is also a major draw.
That the site attracts more than 230 million unique users each month from more than 200 countries is also an attractive prospect to brands and marketing agencies.
Reddit is accessible either through its desktop or mobile website. While the platform does not have an official Apple iOS or Google Play app, site content can be accessed via a range of third party mobile applications.
Reddit is primarily a self-service and community-led platform. Once a user has registered, either with a basic free account or a premium Gold Account, they are able to begin using the platform’s tools autonomously. Content on the site is created, curated and managed by members of the community itself. Experienced users also serve as moderators of discussion boards on specific subjects, known as subreddits, to ensure standards of etiquette.
For advertisers the platform also has a self-service advertising tool on its website, through which brands and individuals wishing to place advertisements in the platform can do so without direct contact with the Company itself. Self-service advertising offerings begin at $5; any ad campaigns with a budget of more than $30,000 however must be discussed with the Reddit team directly.
Reddit is able to interact with its users via its own bulletin boards as well as through direct messaging. The Company also operates several social media accounts, including with leading platforms Twitter and Facebook.
Reddit develops and maintains an online, community-driven platform for the sharing of content. It also provides opportunities for brands and advertising agencies to place sponsored posts and bid on advertising space.
Reddit’s key partners are advertising and media agencies, and other tech companies. Reddit works with media and advertising partners that use the platform to raise the online profiles of their clients through media marketing schemes.
Reddit has partnerships in place with firms such as Prediq Media, and has hosted successful advertising campaigns from companies including Newsweek, Atari and Maker’s Mark. In an additional marketing and branding partnership, Reddit recently teamed up with Google Cloud Platform to publish a series of collaborative branded videos, comprising interviews with entrepreneurs.
In 2014 Reddit partnered with several other online community websites to create the Digital Ecologies Research Partnership, which aims to “promote open, publicly accessible, and ethical academic inquiry into the vibrant social dynamics of the web”. Reddit also has several fundraising partnerships through Reddit Donate and Reddit.Crowdtilt.com.
Until 2016 Reddit operated a Reddit Gold Partnership scheme, through which partner brands offered discounts and deals to premium Reddit users. This program has however been discontinued as of March 2016.
Reddit’s key resources are its IT infrastructure and its personnel. The Company’s community of users, who account for the creation and moderation of content on the site, must also be considered a key resource.
Reddit’s major costs comprise platform maintenance, personnel salaries, and the operation of a marketing and sales team. It also accrues costs in the form of office and server rental.
Reddit has two principal streams of revenue: advertising and its Reddit Gold scheme. Additionally, Reddit has begun to generate some revenue through its Reddit Gifts online marketplace.
In 2015 the Company generated more than $8 million in advertising revenue. The most common advertisements found on the site are sponsored headlines which appear at the top of pages in a style similar to user-submitted posts. In addition to its self-service advertising options, Reddit also operates the Reddit Ads platform, an auction-based system for the sale of advertising space where there is a minimum bid but no capped bid amount.
Reddit also offers a premium subscription service named Reddit Gold which grants users access to additional features and content, including the ability to remove ads, access to new design themes, and access to a members-only subreddit. The Gold Programme costs $3.99 per month or $29.99 per year.
info: Steve is a University of Virginia Computer Science graduate. He served as Reddit’s Chief Executive Officer for several years following the Company’s incorporation in the mid-2000s. He, however, left the Company in 2009 to pursue other interests. He was reappointed as Reddit’s Chief Executive Officer in 2015 as a replacement for outgoing Chief Ellen Pao. During his time away from Reddit, Huffman worked as a programmer at Wired and at Conde Nast’s online media arm Conde Net, before co-founding travel website Hipmunk in 2010, which was also funded by Graham’s Y-Combinator. Huffman continues to serve as Chief Technology Officer of Hipmunk alongside his duties at Reddit.
info: Alexis graduated from the University of Virginia with dual degrees in Commerce and History. According to his corporate networking profile, Ohanian served as Reddit’s Executive Chairman until 2015 but has since stepped down. He does, however, continue to work closely with the Company’s board. In addition, Ohanian also serves as a partner at Y-Combinator and as an advisor to Hipmunk. He is also the founder of non-profit Breadpig, which supplies merchandise to its subscribers and gives the proceeds to charitable causes. In 2010 Ohanian briefly worked via advisory company Das Kapital Capital. He is also an author of a book aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs named ‘Without Their Permission’.
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