Reddit.com is a social news community, which has entertained over 73 million unique visitors in the past month alone. The concept of Reddit is simple: users submit an interesting link they found on the web or make a text post without a link, then fellow community members then vote “Up” or “Down” on the link. The end result is an ever-changing front page that features the most popular links on the web. Reddit is one of the top most visited sites in the world. Let’s take a look back at their humble beginnings.
June 23, 2005 Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian submits the first link to Reddit.com, the Downing Street Memo. In the late ought’s the Internet found itself immersed in the Web 2.0 revolution. The Web was becoming more social as more people were logging on and spending more time exploring. Social news and social bookmarking sites were in an all-out war for traffic. This was the era of Del.icio.us, Digg.com, propeller.com and other large social communities. As the bubble burst, social news communities gave way to the next generation (Facebook & Twitter), yet two titans still stood, Digg.com & Reddit.com.
The major power shift happened on that frightful morning of August 25th 2010 when Digg.com released their Version 4, which drastically changed the look and usability of their social community. The refugees we’re welcomed to Reddit with open arms and Reddit.com has never looked back, growing each and every year, as this Google Trends map illustrates:
Today, Reddit is a collection of communities, called subreddits. Logged in users can subscribe to their favourite subreddits and their front page will be customized to their interests. There are thousands of subreddits that touch on every topic conceivable, every major city, country, university, TV show, sports team, video game and so on. Here is a small sample of subreddits I’m subscribed too.
Reddit has become legendary worldwide simply for their group philanthropy. In their short history they have organized aid to third world countries, they successfully fought SOPA, and they’ve helped teachers get supplies. The best altruistic stories are those developed organically from a post. For example, in January 2012 a man shared a story about how an orphanage in Kenya was attacked. Months later the orphanage was able to build a wall to protect itself thanks to redditors donations.
I’ve been a Reddit regular since its earliest days. My favourite Reddit story of all time is that of Mister Splashy Pants. I won’t go into detail here, I well let Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian tell the story, in this quick TED Talk:
And finally, a video that explains all of which I just wrote in six minutes or less:
Do you use Reddit.com? Tell us some of the subreddits you subscribe too?
Image credit: Reading a newspaper