Reddit Expands Ad Tech Amongst Employee Turmoil

Popular social media site Reddit is making strides to grow their own ad technology to better coordinate working conditions with major brands.

Improving their ad tech comes at a time when the company is experiencing many layoffs and resignations.  This fluctuation could be a sign of great things to come if the company is laser focusing on its content strategy and revenue strategy margins.

The company was first co-founded by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian during the summer of 2005.  Reddit has become one of the most dominant platforms for user-generated content on the internet ever since.  Not without its ups and downs, including stiff competition from the likes of similar user-generated site Digg early on in their development or their agreement to sell to magazine publishing giant Condé Nast in 2006, only to regain their publishing independence and operating on their own when contracts expired in 2009.

When Reddit first started to gain traction and their audience became real, they still hadn’t made headway when it came to figuring out how they planned on making room for advertising.  In fact, they most likely hadn’t even thought that far ahead because they were to busy building a platform to serve their growing community.

Helping advertisers understand ways in which they can leverage Reddit’s audience on their platform was never something that was ever made clear for marketers and brands.

Reddit is taking steps to create what will be their own in-house creative agency that will work with brand consulting for native content.  An example of a working relationship that developed earlier in the year for Reddit was with Coca-Cola.

Reddit asked their Redditors which Marvel superhero match-up would make for an ultimate Super Bowl commercial.  The campaign proved to be a successful one and showed how well Reddit can incorporate such a campaign within their community, working with major brands.

On August 4, Reddit will be offering a new ad service called Promoted User Posts.  The idea is to provide marketers with the ability to sponsor user-generated posts on the Reddit community driven platform. Advertisers can already create such promoted content, however, the process will be dependent on actual users generating brand content on their own and if the post receives enough upvotes, Reddit will look to bridge the brand and user for monetization.

There will be content segregation, where specific pieces of content will be targeted to particular user demographics.  The method of targeted brand content in such a way will appeal to marketers who wish to maximize reach.

This concept of having community members share brand content on their own accord can be a three-way win, not only for the user to profit but also Reddit as a lucrative platform and the brands that get shared as well.

If a Redditor does well from their post in terms of popularity, Reddit will contact said user and ask for permission to use the original post. The user will receive a lifetime of Reddit Gold, a paid feature that offers all sorts of benefits on the platform.

As stated above, the new ad strategy comes during a time of reworking team players within the company structure.  Most recently the VP of marketing Celestine Maddy and editorial director Vickie Chang have left the company, including a hand full of other employees.  Only time will tell if such a strong change-up will be a pro or a con to the way things are being handled, as the company tries to grow in a new direction.

In addition to the way the current platform functions, Reddit does seem to be considering an adjustment to a more mobile functioning platform and is even in talks about giving the desktop design a complete makeover.  The design could very well be taking from what it is learning from its mobile app design and using that information to cater to what they feel will benefit their community users most.  The data they receive from their users mobile behavior can set the stage for a brand new look for their desktop design that will help grow their unique visitors even further.

Making additional moves such as the AMA (ask-me-anything) helps to generate much hype such as taking this upcoming AMA, which was announced this morning, will be held on July 27th at 7PM ET on Trump subreddit r/The_Donald.  Building content strategies like the AMA is where Reddit will surely expand their user growth numbers and not to mention the interest they should start seeking out in other countries for a global market.

At the time of this writing, Reddit is sitting on approximately 240 million unique monthly visitors, according to Comscore.  There has been growth due to subreddits, which function as mini-forums created by the community around niche topics of interest.  Numbers coming in at a growth of 550,000 to 900,000 since 2015 alone show positive signs.

Reddit will continue to expand its content, rebuild new team players and grow its ad tech to make itself a profitable company with the strong possibility of an eventual IPO.

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Joseph Arnone

Joseph Arnone is the founding editor-in-chief of Monologue Blogger. In addition to running MB, Joseph is a filmmaker/producer who has had his films premiere at Festival de Cannes - Court Metrage and Tribeca Cinema's Big Apple Film Festival.