Assignment B: Jake Bertone, Samuel O’Keefe, Michael Conti – Reddit

The history of Reddit

The social news site Reddit was founded in June 2005 after founders Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian were granted funding from Y Combinator. The two founders then sold it to Conde Nast in October 2006 for an estimated $20 million, receiving 500,000 daily unique views, making it one of the biggest websites in the world. What keeps Reddit separate from other sites is the loyalty of its users, who spend an average of 16 minutes and 10 seconds on the site. As Mangold and Faulds (2009) explain, social media is all about exclusivity and interactivity. The key to Reddit’s success is allowing their users to post online stories, images and videos. It gives them control over the site. In January 2008 Reddit allowed for users to create their own subreddits, meaning that it was more interactive and branched across many different topics. This helped to broaden Reddit’s audience. By the end of 2008 the Reddit team that started off with just Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman grew to include Erik Martin, Jeremy Edberg, David King and Mike Schiraldi. Huffman then moved on to form Hipmunk.

As of June 2010, Reddit had moved on to creating and releasing a mobile version that had a new colour scheme and a host of improvements. In July 2010 after rapid traffic growth, Reddit introduced Reddit Gold, offering advanced features for a price of $4 or $30 a year. The feature was a success as the revenue generated from it got the Reddit team approval to buy more servers and employ more people. In September of 2011 Reddit become independent from Conde Nast so that it would be able to operate as a separate subsidiary. This gave the Reddit team more control over the site. Reddit then when on to introduce a second RedditGift exchange with more than 17,000 participants spending over $660,000, helping Reddit grow financially and confirm its status as one of the biggest websites on the internet.

Then in April of 2011, Reddit finally overtook one of its main online competitors, Digg. This was a big thing for Reddit as prior to that it had been called small, puny, little, teeny and microscopic, basically anything to belittle the site. Numbers that month though proved that Digg had 200 million page views while Reddit had 40% more. The revealing numbers meant that Reddit now demanded respect, that it wasn’t something small.  Since then Digg’s numbers lowered considerably while Reddit’s have consistently grown. In fact, within 7 months in 2011 Reddit went from having 1 billion page views per month to 1.6 billion page views per month, with 80% coming from males and 20% coming from females.

Reddit is now the 134th most popular website on the internet and in the top 70 most popular websites in the US.

Reddit is a self-moderated platform for people to share media upon the internet via posts that link to the media itself, or for people to create discussion around a central topic. The second type of post is referred to as a “self post”. This is because text-only posts have the “self.[subreddit name]” suffix.

A central idea of reddit is ‘karma’. This can be described as a points system to encourage thoughtful contribution. When a person submits a post, other redditors have the option to up- or down-vote that post. A post gains points when up-voted and loses them when down-voted. A post with more up-votes will be more visible to other users who have selected the default ordering filter. Posts can be filtered by recency (new), amount of discussion (hot), amount of up-votes (top), ratio of up-votes to down-votes (best), and amount of down-votes (controversial).

In our test reddit post, we have outlined the basics of communication, how to format a post and comment, and also how to lay out both a post and a comment.

Reddit should be used as a tool for groups to share information. This can be done by making a “subreddit”, a community in itself. Websites can be shared here with links and the best ones are voted upon by community users. Moderators of a community can decide what kind of information is posted, who can post, and how they post this information.

As a group organisation tool Reddit can be invaluable, however it has disadvantages. Occasionally a majority of users may down-vote an opinion or article which they disagree with or do not want seen for some other reason. While the popularity-controlled community rule of Reddit is what makes it special, this effect can have conflict with a more totalitarian view of sharing information; the most popular information will be the most seen whether its authenticity is valid or not.

Though mentioned alongside Twitter, Facebook and other similar sites, Reddit does not have the extensive friend networking capability that these sites do. One can simply mark a user as a friend, and their posts will come with a highlight (Lerman, 2006).

‘Reddit’ Briefing – Social Media

Reddit is a social news website, a website in which its users (the public) can upload articles and content, share information and voice opinion. The website was founded in 2005, and since then it has changed social media in a way that makes it clear that the internet is now an extremely valid source of information and news. Reddit users can vote on posts (‘up’ or ‘down’) in terms of whether or not they found the article informative/entertaining, which then causes the article to either increase or decrease in its listing position, much like how search engines such as Google work.

Reddit allows its users to have access to information without the need for publication. Readers can find out information minutes after an event, much like a newsbreak would give us on television. Unlike newspapers, it isn’t hindered by the requirement of printed text.

“Simply put, Reddit is a message board wherein users submit links. What differentiates it from a real-time information network like Twitter is that the stream of content is curated by the community. Items of value are “upvoted,” and those deemed unworthy are “downvoted.” This determines a post’s position on the site, and items that hit the front page are seen by hundreds of thousands of people (consequently, sending boatloads of traffic to the linked website).” (Silverman, 2012)

The commenting system of Reddit allows its users to filter out information even more so than just its up-vote/down-vote method. Quite often the easiest way or finding out whether or not the information posted is legitimate or not is by reading some of the comments. Bad information is often weeded out by its keen-eyed users, thus making sure that the information contained in some posts is not regarded as truthful, accurate information. The key part of Reddit being maintained as a legitimate source of news is its users. The users select want they want to read and also, what they want other people to read. This is one of the most important facets of social media. That it is inclusive of its audience, andReddit depicts this near perfectly. The community is able to self-regulate the website in ways that they can’t on other social media websites such as Facebookor Twitter, making Reddit as much more valuable source of information.

Reddit culture has become an entity in its own in that the site contains things such as inside jokes (often referred to as memes) that you would most likely need to have used to website before to understand. Upon becoming a regular user of the site, people begin to absorb its culture, therefore becoming a part of it themselves.

But Reddit isn’t only about news. Among the site are various boards in relation to entertainment such as games, music and film. Discussions on these topics are constantly taking place day to day on the site and as such, Reddit can become quite a large time-sink as well as a source of news. These boards are known assub-reddits. Users are able to filter out categories they do not longer wish to view or participate in at any time, thus being able to control what they see and when they see it.


Silverman, M 2012, Reddit: A Beginner’s Guide, 

W. Glynn Mangold, David J. Faulds, Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix, Business Horizons, Volume 52, Issue 4, July–August 2009, Pages 357-365

Lerman, K 2006. Social networks and social information filtering on Digg. Retrieved October 10th, 2012, from

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