Reddit Launches Its First Mobile App, After Alien Blue Acquisition

Reddit Launches Its First Mobile App, After Alien Blue Acquisition
By T-Mobile (File derived from T-Mobile logo.svg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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.

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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 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.

While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. <i>To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at [email protected]</i>
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