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Reddit is officially as big as Brazil. In terms of population size at least the link-sharing platform now boasts a massive 202 million monthly users. That’s a heck of a lot if you take into account a platform like Twitter has just over 300 million monthly users. And like Twitter — which is struggling to turn a profit — Reddit is endlessly experimenting with new ways to leverage its highly engaged community.
The tech company’s new online publication — or Redditorial, as it’s referred to — is called Upvoted and features original content in the form of articles, podcasts and videos produced by a group of ten contributors. It’s similar to BuzzFeed, but without the overbearing listicales.
In the official announcement, product manager at Reddit Heath Black elaborates on the new project:
We want to go beyond the upvote and tell stories with you and your communities at the epicenter. What happened before that post was made? What happened afterward? We’re not here to repackage content and present it as our own. We’re not just regurgitating stories. The focus here is you: Reddit’s collective sense of creativity is the spotlight.
The site is said to have been a work in progress for the last year, during which time it’s done super well. The podcast, for example, has already amassed 1.6 million downloads in 2015 while its newsletter is clocking “hundreds of thousands” of subscribers.
The featured content currently includes short articles like The Perfect Sandwich: Tom Hanks, which is a weekly feature that pairs the best sandwich with a celebrity (Reddit, right?); and thoughtful, long-form pieces like How Three Survivors of Suicide Spent Their Last Days On Earth.
Reddit founder and Upvoted manager, Alexis Ohanian, explains that Upvoted is all about celebrating the Reddit community:
This launch of upvoted.com is the next logical step in celebrating the Reddit community: a hub for original content to give Redditors credit, as well as go beyond the original story to learn more about the people and ideas that bubble up across this site of 202 million monthly users
At face value, Upvoted is certainly miles away from Reddit’s oh-so-popular untouched, raw look and feel. The colours are soft and illustrations unique. Not only would this potentially attract more internet users from outside the Reddit community, Upvoted is hoping to attract more brands — something Reddit is thought to have been struggling with over the years.
While there will be no banner advertising, it is lining up some brand-sponsored content. “If it’s not providing value, we don’t want it. To make sure this is the case, the Upvoted team will pitch story ideas to brands and then own the entire editorial process of those articles,” Black adds.
Upvoted excluded a comments section on its platform, but encourages readers to discuss the content on the dedicated r/upvoted thread.