Ten years and 170 million users later, Reddit is finally developing into a full-fledged media company, running not only its own news site, but its own newsletter, podcast, and now, its own video site, Reddit Original Video.
Founder Alexis Ohanian announced the video site on stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York City today, where he acknowledged that each new feature Reddit has rolled out over the last year—from the podcast to the video site—is designed to expand the company’s reach beyond its existing audience. “These have all been steps on the evolution toward adding original content to Reddit, and amplifying the stuff that’s already happening on Reddit to a bigger audience,” he said.
It’s no surprise that Reddit would begin to transition into the world of traditional media, given that its parent company, Condé Nast (which also owns WIRED), is a major force in the media industry. Now that Reddit has a critical mass of users, it seems the company wants Reddit to be not only a destination of aggregated news, but a newsmaker, itself. In doing so, Reddit is riding a wave of new media companies, which are bringing new approaches to an old industry. The difference is, Reddit already has a built-in audience.
On stage, Ohanian also noted that he believes Reddit has matured to a point where Redditors would embrace change to the site, rather than reject it, as they did when Digg, a Reddit competitor, redesigned its site back in 2010. “We know we have to modernize things,” he said. “I think 170 million people are probably ready for something that looks a little more modern, a little more usable.”
For now, the Reddit video site will take Reddit’s popular Ask Me Anything feature, in which anyone can host a public Q&A with the Reddit community, and turn it into short videos, but the feature may evolve over time.
The expansion of Reddit’s brand makes a lot of sense for a company that is already helping to surface the most interesting content the internet has to offer for other media companies to digest and repurpose. Now, Reddit is simply taking ownership of that content while also growing its reach.
“We know there are these amazing stories,” Ohanian said, “and we want to find more ways and broader ways to share them.”
Go Back to Top. Skip To: Start of Article.