Reddit has never had a problem getting people to visit its site, be it on desktop or on mobile. The problem, however, has been the money that it has had at its disposal to create its own mobile application. Reddit does not have a small following, rather, the company enjoys just shy of 175 million monthly users and that shows no signs of slowing. In fact, the company recently announced that it has signed-up 60 million users in just the last few months.
Reddit isn’t “broke” anymore
However, unlike other sites with that sort of traffic, Reddit hasn’t been given the money you might think they should have to build its business. Rather, the company as operated on a bit of a bare-bones budget in its first near decade of existence.
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Reddit, has though, just completed its biggest round of venture funding and is looking to show the world that it is a real business, not simply a time waster for its users. It knows that it must sell ads to survive both on its website and on mobile platforms. It’s unclear and immeasurable how much money Reddit has lost by not having its own mobile app to monetize through advertisements but that has changed with the most recent influx of cash.
On Wednesday evening, the company announced that it had purchased Alien Blue, the most popular third-party iOS app for browsing Reddit content. Reddit intends to rebrand it as its own and relaunch it through the App Store for users of iPads and iPhones.
The move to mobile
The world is largely shifting away from desktops and to the world of mobile, finally Reddit has done something with this understanding.
“We want to be able to have new features from Reddit.com show up on mobile faster and better,” Ellen Pao, Reddit’s head of partnerships and strategic development, said in an interview. “With Alien Blue and Jase, it was getting to a point where it was too much work for one person. He was helping us, we were helping him and the fit was really strong.”
Alien Blue is Jason Morrissey. He developed it by himself and is its sole owner. Apparently, he has been working with Reddit for over a year and will know cash Reddit paychecks. Those paychecks will probably join a recently ballooned bank account following the sale. No financial terms of the deal have been publicly disclosed nor have Alien Blue’s traffic numbers.
Ms. Pao made it clear that the new app will remain free to download and that paid features will continue. Ads will surely follow in the near future though Reddit is remaining closed-lipped about these new revenue streams.