Reddit is asking for donations from their users because the news aggregation service is constantly dealing with website downtime. Reddit has only 4 employees despite being acquired by Condé Nast.
“Whenever this topic comes up on the site, someone always posts a comment about how reddit is owned by Conde Nast, a billion-dollar corporation like Time Warner or Cobra, and how if they wanted to they could hire a thousand engineers and purchase a million dollars worth of heavy iron. But here’s the thing: corporations aren’t run like charities. They keep separate budgets for each business line, and usually allocate resources proportionate to revenue. And reddit’s revenue isn’t great,” said the company in a blog post.
Reddit receives about 280 million pageviews per month, making it hard for four people to sustain the website, let alone come up with new features. Reddit hopes that users will donate money in order to hire more people and buy additional servers. The company prides itself on having minimal advertising.