Social Media By the Numbers: reddit

by Tom Tsinas November 11th, 2007 

While Reddit is often compared to Digg, the two sites have some key differences. Reddit has a simple interface and no advertising. Reddit rankings are based on an absolute vote (+1 for hot / -1 for cold), meaning a negative vote decreases a story's overall vote count as well as the 'karma score for the user who submitted the URL. I for one love this simplicity.

This week I look at Reddit, by the numbers:

The Beginning:

* Reddit was founded by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian in 2005, then 22-year-old graduates of the University of Virginia.

* It received its initial funding, a $12,000 check from Paul Graham at Y Combinator.

* It took them all of 16 months to take their social news site from inception in June 2005 to acquisition by Wired and Conde Nast in October 2006.

The Traffic:

* Initial traffic was provided by referring traffic from Paul Grahams website to Reddit, resulting in 3,000 " 4,000 visitors per day upon launch

* Increased site traffic from 3,000 unique visitors per day to 170,000 unique visitors per day in just under 2 years

* Broke 1 million unique visitors in September 2006

* By of April 2007, Reddit is generating 170,000 unique visitors and 1.9M page views per day

* Less than 10% of Reddit traffic today comes from Google

* Reddit had a monthly growth last month of 35%

* Alexa Rank: 880

* Number of unique pages viewed per user per day for this site: 4.3

* 10% increase in percent of global Internet users who visit this site

reddit ad

The Demographics:

* Primarily 18-34 male. They love technology and politics

* Global reach:

U.S. 57.22%
Canada 6.29%
U.K 5.80%
Germany 2.51%
Australia 2.34%

* Reddit.com traffic rank in other countries:

U.S. 245
Canada 288
UK 357
Australia 387
India 503

* Where people go on Reddit.com:

reddit.com 84%
programming.reddit.com 5%
science.reddit.com 4%
entertainment.reddit.com 1%
nsfw.reddit.com 1%
Other websites 2%

The Financial's:

* $100,000 in total angel funding.

* At the time of acquisition Reddit was generating very little revenue – under $50,000 per month

* Web Speculation estimates Reddit sold for upwards of US $20 million

Did You Know:

* Reddit team was responsible for 80% of the submitted links for many months.

* Websites voted up to the frontpage can see over 10,000 visitors within the span of a day.

* Reddit is available in several languages including Armenian, Chinese, French, German, Russian and Spanish

I think it is fair to say that Reddits success has a lot to do with the articles being interesting. A story can dance up and down Reddits top page instead of being buried out of existence by a few power users. I think you would be hard pressed to visit Reddit and not find at least one article where you learned something new or didnt flat out laugh!

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4 Responses to “Social Media By the Numbers: reddit”

  1. Thorough writeup, Tom.

    I'm curious as to where you got all your data, though.

    Steve and I were indeed the only two people using the site when we started it (aside from a few friends we begged) but we were submitting&voting under multiple usernames only for a couple weeks. Once we got a link from a PG essay, we started seeing some traffic — people who did a much better job than we ever could at finding interesting content.

    Your "80% for many months" figure is incorrect. If you could provide the source, I'd be happy to contact them to correct this inaccuracy.

    Otherwise, you've got a pretty spot on piece. Thanks for writing it.

  2. Tom Tsinas says:

    Hi Alexis,

    The source I picked up the '80%' figure was:

    http://www.startup-review.com/blog/reddit-case-study-how-personality-impacts-product-success.php

    Sorry I missed you on your Toronto drankkit tour stop. I would have loved to interview you for our blog!

    Cheers!

    Tom

  3. Ah, that explains it, I wasn't interviewed for that case study.

    Since Aaron was working on another startup during that summer, I don't think he had a very good understanding of what was going on while Steve and I started reddit. Then again, it could have been a misquote of Steve (or an exaggeration on his part) — either way, I can authoritatively say that this quote "80% of the submitted links for many months [were submitted by Steve and me]" is false.

    I remember the day when neither Steve nor I even had to vote on the front page (let alone submit content), because we had enough of a community, and this was definitely within a month of launch.

    Thanks for helping me set the record straight, Tom. And yes, sorry we missed ya in Toronto. The kids at Waterloo want us (and our open bar) to come back, tho…

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