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The social news site’s traffic has nearly doubled in nine months.
How’s Reddit doing? By the numbers, really great.
The social news site’s largest forum, r/funny, became the first site section to surpass 1 million subscribers last night—but that’s just one milestone among many the company revealed to the Daily Dot earlier today.
Over the past 30 days the site has seen 28 million unique visitors who logged 1.8 billion pageviews, according to Reddit general manager Erik Martin. That means the site has nearly doubled in pageviews since last January, when it first hit the one billion mark.
And 265 of its user-created sections, or subreddits, have at least 10,000 subscribers each—a figure which suggests Reddit’s strategy of nurturing topic-specific communities on its platform is taking off.
The good news comes at the end of a bad two months of publicity for the increasingly visible and influential site, which has been dogged with controversies over the now-defunct subreddit r/jailbait even as it becomes a force to be reckoned with in politics and Hollywood.
Site staff closed off that teen-pics section earlier this month after users allegedly used it as a springboard for exchanging child pornography. The section drew intense scrutiny from the likes of CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Gawker.
As for r/funny, Martin emphasized that subscriber numbers hold much less value as a metric than do traffic numbers. As a default subreddit, every new registered account subscribes automatically, and only drops off if a user actively unsubscribes. Since it’s free and easy to create a Reddit account (the site doesn’t even require an email address) one person can hold multiple accounts, and spammers can hold dozens if not hundreds.
Moreover, Martin estimates 80 to 90 percent of the site’s traffic comes from “lurkers”—people who read content, but never register an account.
Despite that, r/funny’s one-million mark is “definitely a milestone,” Martin said.
He was quick to credit the site’s volunteer workforce of moderators for much of the site’s success. ”It’s an amazing job the moderators do with all those subscribers,” he said.
It’s perhaps one more sign of Reddit’s growth that r/funny’s big milestone hardly drew notice. Time was when any Reddit milestone would automatically hit the site’s homepage, as the community gave itself a collective high-five.
Instead, a congratulatory post from one of section’s moderators went nowhere. As the big traffic numbers show, there are just too many people on Reddit posting too many things—how could news like this ever hope to break through?
Photo by willia4
Kevin Morris is a veteran web reporter and editor who specializes in longform journalism. He led the Daily Dot’s esports vertical and, following its acquisition by GAMURS in late 2016, launched Dot Esports, where he serves as the site’s editor-in-chief.