The History of Reddit – How Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman Started The Company
Reddit.com is amongst the biggest social networking sites nowadays. It has more than a billion page views monthly, which makes it one of the most popular websites in the world. “The front page of the Internet” was started back in 2005, by two guys at their twenties – Alexis Ohanian and his friend Steve Huffman. They created a social site, where people were able to share links with a short description and vote for them. According to the number of votes, the publications were ranked and shown on the site. The young entrepreneurs initially created some fake accounts themselves and started posting from them to add some content to the network. Soon, the first users came in the community. At the beginning, the project was financed with $100 000 in starting capital by “Y Combinator” – an American start up funding company. And this investment turned out to be like investing in a hen that lays golden eggs. Just after a year later, in 2006, Reddit.com enjoyed some pretty nice traffic, it had more than 500 000 impressions daily. At that time the company “Conde Nast” purchased the site for an amount around $20 million. This is how the two founders became millionaires really fast, just in a year.
In 2008, Reddit.com became an open source software. For the people who don’t know what this is, open source software is a free and available for everyone application. This means that you can download the system and build the same site like Reddit, after installing it. Yeah, that is right, you can grab the source code here: https://github.com/reddit/reddit/downloads .
In 2009, Reddit launched their advertising program, selling ads on the site was the required step forward, in order to keep it expanding. By that year, the social network had millions of impressions per month, that had to be monetized somehow.
In 2010, Reddit Gold was launched – a special subscription plan, with which a user gets access to some special features and to the “secret community”, that may or may not exist. Becoming a gold member costs around $30 per year.
In 2011, Reddit surpassed its rival Digg.com having more visitors and higher rankings. “Conde Nast”, the firm that acquired the site several years ago, spun it out as a separate company.
Today Reddit.com is not only one of the biggest social sites, but its community is among the most loyal ones. The average redditor spends more than 16 minutes browsing the site and doing some Reddit stuff. By the end of 2011, the site received more than 1,5 billion monthly impressions. Nearly 80% of its user are male and the most loyal ones tend to be Canadians.