This week, we take a look at Reddit’s new experiment Upvoted.com.
What is Upvoted?
Upvoted, launched yesterday, is Reddit’s Buzzfeed-killer. Which is fitting, as the Reddit community has sounded off for years about sites like Buzzfeed building entire businesses with content surfaced on Reddit first. After a public meltdown over how it handles controversial content that eventually led to interim CEO Ellen Pao’s resignation, Reddit got to work building a showcase for its lighter side with this “best of” content on Upvoted.
What Makes Upvoted Unique?
Unlike a number of new school viral sites, Upvoted’s content actually leads directly back to its original source on Reddit. While it may be kind of sad to think that properly citing and linking back to a source would be so novel, in Upvoted’s case, it’s also good strategy. Think of Upvoted as a more familiar, user-friendly introduction to the Reddit platform, which, for the uninitiated, can be a little terrifying. Connecting the dots between Upvoted and Reddit can help them scale the former and drive adoption of the latter.
Stranger still, there will be no comments allowed on Upvoted. In light of the recent trolling controversy and subsequent revolt, you can certainly understand why they’d stay away from comments for the foreseeable future. After all, if users want freewheeling commentary, they can always visit Reddit.
Why Do We Care?
Like Gawker this summer, Reddit has had to come to terms with the darker side of the very thing that makes it unique and compelling. Wrestling such an existential problem is never easy, as any “fix” could potentially alienate the most devoted users, even as it creates new opportunity for growth.
In Reddit’s case, building a separate yet integrated platform in Upvoted is a smart solution; it allows them to preserve the integrity of their flagship product while finding new ways to work with advertisers and monetize users (indeed, you can already seem some native advertising in the form of sponsored content on the site).
If You Only Have 5 Minutes…
Read more about Reddit’s decision to launch Upvoted and peruse the new digs.
Featured image courtesy of Eva Blue via Flickr.