Reddit is launching a new stand alone news site. ‘Upvoted’ has it’s own website, Upvoted.com with it’s own editorial team who skim off interesting user generated stories from the Reddit site, and turn them into readable, illustrated journalistic pieces. Reader comments (for which Reddit is infamous) are noteably not accommodated on Upvoted, however, each article has a ‘discuss on Reddit’ link which takes readers to reddit.com where an accumlated stream of reader comments can be viewed. Julia Greenberg at Wired explains the advantages for Reddit and it’s users, of what at first glance appears to be an unnecessarily convoluted pathway for existing Reddit readers;
‘It’s something different for Reddit: an experiment. But most importantly, it just isn’t Reddit. This is more than another friendly news upstart. It’s a business move, following the community’s meltdown this summer over control of the site’s more offensive content, and it could serve a few key business purposes. Upvoted is a way for Reddit to recapture some of the attention (and, ahem, traffic) that the site loses when other news organizations take stories from the site; it serves as a kind of introduction to the world of Reddit for non-users; and it acts as a testing ground for advertisers who may be hesitant to dive straight into advertising in a world moderated by unaffiliated, unpaid volunteers. Upvoted may be our first look at what the future of Reddit might hold. If it works’.
Upvoted’s polished image is in contrast to the uncensored mean streets of Reddit, where advertisers fear to tread amongst it’s famously unsavory comments. Upvoted gives Reddit a platform that the business can capitalise on. BBC News Technology reports;
Thomas Caldecott, who works on the media team at Enders Analysis, told the BBC that Reddit’s demographics were “heavily skewed towards 18-24-year-old males”. He added that the “uncontrolled nature of its user generated content-centric forums have made it a risky environment for brands”. The new site, he said, reflected concerns over the “difficulties of growing audiences beyond dedicated core followings and the pressing need to monetise these audiences through effective advertising formats”.
Upvoted is bypassing banner ads in favour of a full width read and a native advertising strategy, with ‘sponsored articles’ written by the same team that writes the main features. Upvoted Editor Vickie Chang explained to Wired just how integral to the reading experience the adverts will be;
“They’re going to be just as interesting as actual content,” Chang says. “It could be a piece on Tesla, a piece on how WiFi works, no matter what it’ll be good content—and it’ll just happened to be sponsored.”