Controversy is Good For Reddit’s Business

Rumours of reddit’s death have been greatly exaggerated, it seems. The great exodus, predicted after the user revolt over former CEO Ellen Pao and objections toward new CEO Steve Huffman’s plans to clean up reddit’s “dark side”, never happened. In fact, the statistics show that reddit’s usership has increased by a factor of nine in the last month.

In May and June, reddit’s unique views were 175 million and 177 million, respectively. By July, in the wake of Pao’s exit and Huffman’s new hard-line approach, brought 195 million unique viewers for the month.

Last month, Pao was forced to resign by the reddit community as penance for the firing of Victoria Taylor, the site’s former head of community who was responsible for arranging the famous AMA posts. It was later revealed that Alexis Ohanian, reddit’s co-founder and board member, was the one responsible for Taylor’s sacking, not Pao. Former Chief Executive Yishan Wong also revealed in a candid post that, contrary to popular belief, Pao did not wish to implement large-scale censorship on the site, a policy that new CEO Huffman certainly is in favour of, ironically. Be careful what you wish for.

Rather than drive users away, though, it seems reddit’s soap opera has attracted a record number of rubber-neckers. It will be interesting, now that the controversy has died down, whether the site will be able to sustain those numbers across August.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.

Ashley Allen

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