“Never has a single punctuation mark brought us so much joy,” writes Reddit’s Mike [raldi] in a post on the official Reddit blog that appeared on the site yesterday. “There are only about 100 sites on the entire Internet that get a billion pageviews in a single month, and now reddit can put on its smoking jacket and join that exclusive club. The New York Times isn’t on the membership list, nor is Expedia, Weather.com, about.com, or Fox News. In your face, meteorologists!”
The billion-pageview tally is only the latest benchmark of growth for the site, which skyrocketed 300 percent since last January’s 250 million pageview count, and 20 percent since just last month. Reddit, once considered the little brother to the far-better-funded Digg.com, surpassed Digg in September 2010 after a redesign of the site caused a mass exodus of its users to flow Reddit’s way.
Reddit was started in 2005 by Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman, and was then purchased in 2006 by publisher Conde Nast.
Despite its impressive growth, the Reddit team remains relatively small, with only about 10 full-time employees. And the lack of investment in the number of servers needed to handle Reddit’s large number of users shows, with the site regularly overloaded during high-traffic times.
While Reddit started as a news aggregation site, it has grown into more of a tight-knit online community, with “sub-reddits” like /r/IAMA, in which users who are or do something interesting post about themselves and other users ask questions about their particular job or experience, quickly gaining popularity. (For a taste of what the community can offer, take a gander at this recent IAMA post from an Egyptian involved in the recent protest.)
Reddit made the news this fall after the community became a driving force of promotion for Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert’s “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” in Washington DC this past October. In doing so, users of the site helped raise nearly $600,000 for Colbert’s charity of choice, DonorsChoose.org, which supplies teachers with whatever they need for their classrooms.
Upon announcing the big number to Reddit users, Mike [raldi] was equally charitable with his thanks: “This is an accomplishment that all redditors should take pride in, because people wouldn’t keep arriving in droves — and coming back — if not for the community that you’ve created here.”