A Brief History Of Reddit

Written by: Becca Marsh
Reading time: 3 mins
Published on: August 5, 2021

Did you know that the most popular subreddit is /r/announcements, with over 100 million subscribers?

A brief history of Reddit

Reddit is one of the most visited websites in the world and is one of the largest forums to exist.

Since its debut in 2005, Reddit has served as a platform to share and discuss topics and upvote them accordingly.

The forum is a place to learn, share, debate, and a place for many to build a community.

Here is a brief history of how Reddit came to be.

Reddit was founded in June 2005.

Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian

Reddit was founded by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian on June 23, 2005, in Medford, Massachusetts.

The two were roommates and students at the University of Virginia at the time and began building Reddit for fun.

American Startup funder called Y Combinator (YC) gave Reddit $100,000. Later on, in the same year, Reddit merged with Infogami and started working with Aaron Swartz.

Swartz rewrote Reddit’s codebase, using the program he had designed for Infogami.

Both sites struggled to gain traction individually; however, when they merged to form Reddit, the site started to take off.

Shortly after launching, features were added, such as commenting, which was added in December 2005.

Reddit became a place where people could discuss and share thoughts and ideas.

Reddit was taken under the wing of Condé Nast Publications.

Ohanian reflecting on the sale of Reddit

In 2006 Condé Nast Publications acquired Reddit. Huffman and Ohanian sold Reddit for around $10-$20 million.

The team relocated to San Francisco, where Reddit started to become more of a corporate business.

It wasn’t until 2011 that it eventually became independent alongside Condé Nast and became its own subsidiary of the parent company Advance Publications.

In 2010 Reddit Gold was launched.

Reddit Gold

Reddit needed to make money from their site, so as well as advertisements, they introduced memberships.

The Gold Membership, also known as Reddit Premium, gave more benefits to editors and created a new form of income for Reddit.

In 2013 Reddit started to collaborate with Bitcoin and allowed Gold subscriptions to be paid using Bitcoin.

In 2018 Reddit Gold was re-launched and became Reddit Premium, costing legacy members $3.99 a month and new members $5.99 a month.

Another upgrade to the rebrand was allowing users to gift other editors with coins.

Initially, as part of the Reddit Gold package, you could award gold coins only to other users.

But in 2018, silver and platinum coins were introduced as rewards to gift other users for their comments and contributions.

As of 2021, Reddit had over 2.6 million subreddits.

Lots of Reddit logos

Reddit began with only one a few subreddits. A subreddit is a thread created by users that focuses more on a specific topic.

This allows users to categorize information or discussions in a simple and more precise way.

Once a subreddit is created, it remains on the site forever.

However, of these 2.6 million subreddits, only around 100,000 were active as of 2021.

The most popular subreddit is /r/announcements, with over 100 million subscribers.

Reddit had over 300 million posts in 2020.

Someone installing Reddit on their phone

As of 2021, Reddit became the 8th most visited website and is still continuing to grow.

In 2020 the average daily active users were recorded at 52 million, which shows a 44% increase compared with the year before.

There were 303.4 million posts which show a 52.4% increase when compared with previous years.

2020 saw 49.2 billion upvotes which demonstrated a rise of 53.8% in comparison with other years.

In Conclusion

Reddit has come on an incredible journey, from starting out as a college side project created by Huffman and Ohanian to progressing into a subsidiary company alongside Condé Nast.

Despite the slow start, Reddit has become a global leading discussion site.

The site has been built to encourage all users to create discussions and debates.

By forming memberships and their own currency, Reddit has really been creative when bringing in an income aside from advertisements.

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