In January, Huffman published the plan. In July, Reddit grew $200 million at a cost of $1.8 billion to redesign its website. The company began 2017 with some 140 employees. It now operates 250. Huffman believes Reddit wants to “catch up” in terms of look and feel before it can begin truly innovating.
Reddit is also operating on a slew of other projects to promote the site. The organization is tweaking the algorithm to improve relevancy based on time given in individual subreddits, running various tests to improve onboarding of new users, building new content creation tools, developing moderation tools, twitching what and how you can post on your profile, create an event content type for pre/during/post coverage, improve content relevance for users abroad (50 percent of Reddit users reside in the U.S.), and explore how to proactively grow globally (80 percent of Reddit is in English).
But all of this pales in relating to the upcoming redesign.
“People will put up with long lines, steep prices, and bad service. They will eat at your eatery if the food is good. And that’s the way I’ve constantly thought about Reddit. Our content is our food, and as long as the food is good, nothing else values. That’s why Reddit despite the product that doesn’t improve, despite management that is missing or not very good, just being murdered in the press for five years, and an onboarding process that’s hostile, would be a hospitable way of describing it continues to grow. If the content is good, if your market is producing real value, that can make up for a lot of other sins.”
“Reddit did not work because it has a shitty UI,” Huffman said. “Reddit resulted despite having a shitty UI. Reddit is succeeding because we have great content. We have people distributing themselves, helping each other, and building all sorts of wonderful things. That core worker is what makes Reddit work, and that’s not going away.”