Two billion pageviews are a statement. And politicians are listening.
This week, politics truly arrived on Reddit.
Sure, the site’s r/politics section boasts nearly a million rabid readers and is really active in influencing popular political opinion on Reddit. But politicians themselves have largely ignored Reddit, taking their social media campaigns to more mainstream outfits like Twitter and Facebook.
One thing that speaks even louder than two billion pageviews, however, is hard cash. With the news that Rob Zerban raised more than $15,000 after a live interview, it was only a matter of time before other politicians began stampeding through Reddit’s gates.
And it happened within a few days. First, New York City congressional hopeful Mike Scala told seductive tales of social libertarianism at r/IAmA. Then, last night Republican presidential longshot Buddy Roemer took a break from cracking jokes on Twitter to do his own live interview.
Hey. Ron Paul, when’s your AMA scheduled?
And as for those two billion pageviews: Reddit’s traffic numbers from 2011 demonstrate some astonishing growth. The site has octupled in size from two years ago, and doubled from a year ago.
How much more can Reddit expand? Is the site becoming bloated, and is the growth unsustainable? A lot of redditors believe—or, at least suspect so.
The fact is, however, that Reddit’s subreddit system supports almost infinite growth. Reddit isn’t just the winner in a social news battle with Digg. It long ago began to replace the Web’s millions of scattered bulletin boards and forums. As such, it’s quickly becoming a centralized hub of discussion online.
Of course, a mass exodus of old users is always possible, especially as specialized communities become overpopulated and under-moderated. To cope, the site simply needs better tools for moderation, discovery, and customization.
For his part, Reddit general manager Erik Martin has hinted all of these are in the works:
There are redditors who feel reddit is getting too big, and even if we don't always reach the same conclusions, we see the same trends and patterns you do. We have some improvements coming that will help redditors discover new subreddits, help new users better understand the way reddit works, and provide better tools to support the moderators of both big and small subreddits. We're also going to keep improving the infrastructure so that the site will be faster and more stable even as growth continues.