Reddit is a community of sub-communities (also called sub-reddits) where people share relevant content and articles. For example, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter sub-reddits exist that users can subscribe to if interested. The submitted stories are voted up (or down) by fellow Redditors. The site is very minimalist which helps to keep the focus on the content itself.
What is even more impressive about this rapid growth is the matter in which it came about. In a blog post Reddit explains how the success came about (and how it didn’t):
- We don’t get traffic through ads.
- We don’t participate in any traffic trading.
- We don’t email our users (unless they choose to enter an email and then forget their password).
- We don’t harass users to sign up.
- We don’t harass users to invite their friends.
- We don’t pester you to download our app.
- We don’t use slideshows and other pageview gimmicks.
- We don’t know anything about SEO.
- We don’t integrate with Facebook.
- We don’t even link to our Facebook or twitter accounts.
So how do we account for the growth? Like all things reddit, the credit goes to our community — or rather, community of communities.
Clearly this is a textbook example of building communities, listening to feedback and keeping users happy. Many social communities have flamed out in the past by alienating (no Reddit logo pun intended) their user base and trying to hard to monetize. The Reddit team also stressed that in 2012 more organic events and site improvements will be announced, but that no major changes are on the horizon.