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By Kara FinnertyJun 10
Reddit, the self-proclaimed front page of the internet, has the power to make anything big.
From a discussion on the greatness of Susan Boyle’s haircut to a full-blown convo on the joys of bacon, the idea is that any Redditor can find a kindred spirit.
Reddit is made up of thousands of communities each tailored to a specific interest. With such a captive and engaged audience, opportunities for monetization has long been a question for the business. How can, and will, Reddit generate an income without disrupting the flow of the community that it fosters?
Well, the latest attempt is an interesting one. Last week the social networking platform unveiled Redditmade, a crowdfunding site aimed at Reddit users, and more specifically, some of the subreddit communities.
Redditors are encouraged to get creative and design t-shirts, stickers, hats and other items to grab the attention of their subreddit comrades. Users then must raise the funds from their communities in order to make the product a reality.
Reddit covers all the costs of a successful campaign and the organizer can then keep the profits or hand it over to a worthy cause.
The impact of this initiative is twofold: to enrich the services and features available to Reddit users, and, of course, to increase revenues.
What’s great about Reddit is that it has focused on creating a community where conversations can flourish for those with a broad range of interests, however niche.
The site has focused entirely on its community and meeting their needs.
However, as alluded to earlier, this doesn’t easily translate well into financial figures.
Last year, Reddit CEO Yishan Wong confessed that the site was still in the red and, although not struggling, would find it hard to break even.
The organization is keenly aware that its value lies in the strength of its community, and so it is natural that the site is wary of scaring its tight-knit community – and so is slowly introducing more money-making incentives to the platform which won’t interfere with their active community base.
Redditmade is certainly a venture that will benefit Reddit, although is unlikely excessive profits due to the cost of manufacturing and distributing products.
In a recent post we compared Facebook Rooms to Reddit, as there seem to be a lot of similarities between the two platforms.
Now Reddit has itself launched a site that mimics another successful enterprise, Kickstarter.
Although following the same basic premise of helping to fund a creative project, there are differences in the two schemes.
Redditmade focuses on the smaller communities of its own site. The established subreddits will feel a greater sense of ownership and affinity with their peers if a project is fully funded.
Basically, users are creating products that are designed solely to entertain a select group of individuals. This product wouldn’t be available or even make sense anywhere else, only in these sub-communities.
In comparison, Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site for anyone who has an idea, and many of the projects have a wide reach.
The app is currently in open beta so it is interesting to look at all the current projects waiting for funds, and it certainly has the potential to become popular in Reddit communities. Historically, we have found that brands find social data from Reddit particularly useful, so it will be interesting to see how this new venture pans out for social listening tools like ourselves. We will, of course, keep you posted.
So, will Redditmade bring Reddit the financial success that has so far eluded them? It’s likely that, like Redditgifts, this new venture will be a hit in subreddits.
But Reddit’s attitude of community before financial gains will most probably mean that this new site won’t bring them great financial success…which, I’d imagine, won’t really bother Reddit’s small and creatively motivated team.
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