Reddit, the community website with 234 million unique visitors a month, has labelled 2015 a "big year", but in some respects it was marred by a 'digital revolt’ in July 2015. In response to the public outcry, chairman and co-founder Alexis Ohanian publicly vowed to make improvements to both the administration of the Reddit platform, and to the platform itself.
Days later Ellen Pao stepped down as CEO, and Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman was appointed as her replacement, with an emphasis on rolling out improvements made clear. From the looks of Huffman’s recent post on Reddit, the staff have been busy, and 2016 is going to be huge. So what's going on over there in San Francisco?
- With its sights locked firmly on its future and increasing use of mobile, Reddit's new Android app was launched in closed beta on Thursday 28 January. The iOS app is coming soon. Huffman said:
Whether you access it from your desktop, a mobile browser, or a native app, we will work to make the Reddit product more engaging. Mobile in particular continues to be a priority for us.
2. Other changes include using its new A/B testing system to test changes to individual features. Huffman admitted that not everything will work, but it's all in the name of making Reddit better, and asked users to bear with them during the process:
We are all redditors, and we are all driven to understand why Reddit works for some people, but not for others; which changes are working, and what effect they have; and to get into a rhythm of constant improvement. We appreciate your patience while we modernize Reddit.
3. Also, in responding to comments about his post on Reddit, Huffman hinted at changes to the homepage:
We've got our sights on the front page algorithm in general. It can be vastly improved. I'm not a fan of defaults. It puts too much of a burden on us to be tastemakers and makes it difficult for great new communities to break through.
4. In another comment response Huffman mentioned that increasing engagement by converting casual users into redditors is a main goal of the company.
5. Huffman's statement also announced a forthcoming Transparency Report in March. He didn't go into detail, but emphasized that the site takes data stewardship seriously, and that transparency is important to its users.
Read Huffman's full post and user comments here.