In a second attempt to be one of the first inductees of the startup incubator Y Combinator, University of Virginia roommates Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian built Reddit, which they labelled “the front page of the internet”.
The site functionality remains much the same as it was back in 2005. Users write posts, upload photos, videos and link to other parts of the internet. To organise the content, Redditors upload to specific subreddits. If the post receives a lot of attention, it may be featured on /r/all, the front page.
A year after launch, Reddit sold to Conde Nast Publications for $20 million. Conde Nast owners Advance Publications moved Reddit to its own subsidiary a few years later. It remains the largest shareholder, although a recent investment by Tencent may have diluted its percentage.
Huffman and Ohanian, alongside other early Reddit employees Aaron Swartz and Christopher Slowe, left Reddit in the next few years. While many in the Reddit community liked the rather web 2.0 look, it began to lag behind the other social networks rapidly gaining traction, such as Facebook and Twitter.
It wouldn’t be until 2015, after a succession of CEOs brought in by Advance Publications, that the original duo of Huffman and Ohanian would take back the reigns. At this point, Reddit had built a tight-knit community, but had several fundamental issues that scared advertisers and new users from it.
While it took a few years, Huffman (led by ex-CEO Ellen Pao’s anti-harassment policy) began to ban a lot of the less desirable subreddits and dish out harsher punishments to those harassing, doxing and insulting other people. While Reddit still makes a slither of revenue from advertising in comparison to Facebook and Twitter, it has started to see real progress in this area.
Reddit also recently updated its website and app, updating it to fit with the design trends of the past few years. This did spark some push-back by Redditors, so web users are able to reset the design to the older version.
Huffman has also preceded over a greater push to mobile. For the first 10 years of Reddit’s existence, it allowed third-party developers to build apps for the website, but in the past five years it has dedicated far more time to its first-party offering.
The updates to design and harassment seem to have been critical to Reddit’s two recent funding rounds, the latter of which valued the company at $3 billion.
We have collected data and statistics on Reddit’s revenue, usage and demographics. Read on below to find out more.
|Launch date||23 June 2005|
|HQ||San Francisco, California|
|People||Steve Huffman (co-founder, CEO), Jen Wong (COO), Christopher Slowe (CTO), Alexis Ohanian (co-founder)|
|Owner||Advance Publications (majority shareholder)|
Reddit has never recorded a profit. The recent funding rounds (2017 and 2019) suggest it is focused on growth and not profitability. After half a decade of shunning the ad platform, Reddit has begun to invest heavily into it, so we may see it reach some form of profitability in the next few years.
Reddit Users (MAUs)
Reddit Monthly Views
Reddit Active Communities
Reddit other key stats
- Reddit has more monthly active users than Pinterest and Twitter. It is behind Facebook and YouTube
- Reddit is the sixth most popular social networking app in the US
- More than half of Reddit’s traffic comes from the US (SimilarWeb)
- Users spend on average 10 minutes 23 seconds on Reddit
- 1.4 billion videos are uploaded to Reddit every month
- 70 percent of all Reddit video views came from mobile (Variety)
- Reddit users have sent a total of 32 billion upvotes, 199 million posts and 1.7 billion comments (Reddit)
- A quarter of Reddit users are between the ages 20-29
- 28 million Americans use Reddit once a month (eMarketer)
- There are over 2.2 million subreddits, 130,000 of which are considered active communities
- 38 percent of Redditors are technology enthusiasts, higher than Instagram and YouTube (Comscore)