Reddits 2005 Rise to 57 Million Users Marred by Recent Controversy
- Reddit is a social media platform that was founded in 2005 and has grown to have 57 million daily users
- It is currently not profitable, but is preparing for an IPO
- Third-party developers rely on access to Reddit’s application programming interface (API), but the company recently increased charges for its API access, leading to outrage and tension among moderators
- Reddit was co-founded by Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman in 2005 after they met founder Paul Graham at a talk
- It grew exponentially after Condé Nast acquired it in 2006, and was spun out as an independent company in 2011.
Reddits Rocky Road: Uphill Challenges, Reinvigorated Leadership, and Mixed Results
- Reddit has had challenges in the past with hate speech and other issues
- In 2014 and 2015, Ohanian and Huffman rejoined Reddit as executive chairman and CEO respectively with the intention of reigning in some of the site’s more toxic subcultures
- In 2020, after the death of George Floyd, Ohanian resigned from the company’s board in protest and urged them to replace him with a black candidate
- 2,000 subreddits were banned including r/The_Donald, r/ChapoTrapHouse and r/gendercritical
- Reddit raised $300 million in its 2019 Series D funding round led by Tencent
- Covid saw a jump in US engagement on Reddit by 26%, followed by a short squeeze organized by users on GameStop in 2021 that made amateur investors money while hedge funds lost billions
- Reddit was valued at $10 billion before Fidelity cut it to $5.5 billion due to external factors.
Reddit Struggles to Balance Community and Profits Amid Protests, Moderator Discontent
- Reddit communities have been re-opened and operating normally with some exceptions
- John Oliver is now featured in the subreddits r/pics and r/gifs
- Moderators of the Ask Me Anything subreddit have stopped organizing interviews with celebrities and high-profile figures
- Reddit has rolled out new moderator tools for its native app, but moderators are unimpressed with the response from Reddit admins and trust between them has eroded
- Protests continue as users express their anger and passion for the success of Reddit
- Reddit is looking towards profitability and an IPO, with tensions between it and its community playing out in the tech world.