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 stake.
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 which scared advertisers and new users.
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.
Reddit still makes a slither of revenue from advertising in comparison to Facebook and Twitter, however it has started to see real progress, growing its ad business by 112 percent in the last two years.
Huffman has 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.
Reddit also updated its website and app, updating it to fit with the design trends of the past few years. This sparked pushback by Redditors, so web users are able to reset the design to the older version.
The updates to design and harassment seem to have been critical to Reddit’s two recent funding rounds, the most recent valued the company at $6 billion. In 2020, Reddit was the epicentre of the /r/WallStreetbets short squeeze on hedge fund managers, using the Robinhood app. This drew in millions of new users to the platform.
We have collected data and statistics on Reddit. Read on below to find out more.
Reddit key statistics
- Reddit expects to generate $170 million revenue in 2020, primarily from its ad business
- Reddit has 52 million daily active users and approximately 430 million users who use it once a month
- In 2020, Reddit received over 30 billion views every month
- Reddit was valued at $6 billion in February 2021, doubling its previous 2019 valuation
|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. 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 profitability by 2022.
Reddit recently started disclosing daily active users, instead of monthly users. Approximately 10 percent of MAUs access the website or app daily, which is lower than other social networks such as Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter.
Reddit daily active users
Reddit monthly active users
Sources: Business Insider, Reddit
Reddit funding (total)
Reddit monthly views
How many minutes does the average Reddit user spend on the site?
Users spend on average 10 minutes 23 seconds on Reddit
How many posts are uploaded a year?
303.4 million posts were uploaded in 2020
How many comments were posted in a year?
In 2020, Reddit users posted over two billion comments and 49.2 upvotes
How many videos are uploaded to Reddit?
1.4 billion videos are uploaded to Reddit every month
How much of Reddit’s traffic is from the US?
According to SimilarWeb, over half of Reddit’s traffic is from the US
What is Reddit’s largest age demographic?
A quarter of Reddit users are between the ages 20-29
How many subreddits are available on Reddit?
There are over 2.2 million subreddits, 130,000 of which are considered active communities
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