Coverage of the Reddit Acquisition

On October 31, TechCrunch reported that Conde Nast, the owners of Wired Magazine, had acquired The price was not disclosed but Michael Arrington revealed that the owners of Reddit will be moving from their Boston location to San Francisco. Reddit has four employees.

TechCrunch reported “Reddit is a social news site that has always played second fiddle to Digg.” After reading this, I noticed an article posted in ValleyWag about how the Reddit founders must have felt when compared to Digg. The following quote from the founders of Reddit was placed on ValleyWag: “As far as I know, this was the first time we graced the pages of TechCrunch, so we’re just happy for the coverage. In fact, I think Michael made some very good points about reddit’s fast load time and high content-to-ad ratio. I do wish he’d mentioned our mascot, but oh well.”

It seems that ValleyWag wanted to get a response from the Reddit founders about not wanting to be compared to Digg. I think this is a good question from ValleyWag because sometimes when you see one of the first press releases of your acquisition, you should expect that the details of it should be focused more on the actual acquisition and not other potential acquisitions. Yes, we know everyone loves Digg, but there is definetely a time and place to highlight Digg’s success.

However the interview TechCrunch put together just two hours after the acquisition is impressive. Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, the founders of Reddit were interviewed by Michael Arrington and Marshall Kirkpatrick on TalkCrunch. I sat myself down and listened to it for 24 minutes. Here is a rundown of several of the interview points:

  • Steve is 22 years old and will be 23 as of next week, Alexis is 23
  • Steve was a fan of Paul Graham for a long time and attended a lecture by Paul Graham at Harvard about “How to Start a Start-Up.” Steve and Alexis had coffee with him and applied for Y-Combinator in their senior year of college. And then they moved to Boston with Y-Combinator funding.
  • Reddit’s initial funding was $12,000. At the end of summer of 2005, Reddit had another round of funding which was less than $100,000.
  • Reddit receives roughly 70,000 unique visitors per day and roughly around 700,000-800,000 pageviews per day. Recently they had an all-time high of 96,000.
  • Arrington: “Well I’m proud to see that is the top story right now on Reddit beating out even your own blog entry announcing the acquisition. Is that still right?”
    Reddit founder: “Well we weren’t allowed to write our blog post until you had a fair shot at it.” Arrington followed that up with “And it looks like your story is #12 now.”
  • The founders of Reddit stated that they would be maintaining creative control of Reddit as it was part of the discussion with Wired.
  • Reddit owners were not allowed to mention anything about the acquisition, but stated that “they were very pleased.”
  • One thing that was important to Reddit was not to “get in the way of the users.” This is what really drove the company direction.
  • Steve will be moving to San Fran at the end of the week, Alexis will be moving in a couple months. Chris, another founder is under contract to finish his PhD in January.
  • Arrington and the Reddit founders spoke to Kevin Rose, founder of Digg on IM around the same time as the acquisition and Rose definetely had warm wishes for Reddit.

Between ValleyWag, TechCrunch, and GigaOM, there is certainly a good amount of coverage on the Reddit acquisition. Congratulations to Steve on getting health insurance too.

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at
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