Did Reddit Investors Just Make History by Placing Its Community First?

Reddit made the news this week with the announcement that Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto were part of the group that invested $50 million into the coffers of Reddit.  But did the medias love of celebrity news blind them, and the public, to the important facts behind this story?  Is Reddit about to make history and only the Reddit community will know it?

Snoop Dogg’s investment is not much of a surprise to anyone in the Reddit community since he is an active member and moderator on the site.  The real surprises are the other important names that never made it into the official headlines with investors like Everbrite‘s CEO’s Kevin and Julia Hartz, and Minted CEO Miriam Naficy.  This influx of cash is going to have a great impact on Reddit, laying out the groundwork for some serious upgrades to the Reddit brand:

  • Hiring third-party companies to expand our mobile offerings (like their new AMA app)
  • To improve their self-serve ad product
  • Helping build up the redditgifts marketplace
  • Pay for their growing technical infrastructure
  • To create a cryptocurrency to give 10% of the investors shares beck to the Reddit community.

These improvements could have a great impact on other social media apps and sites, with AMA Reddit events possibly being part of Eventbrite or other affiliated marketing opportunities.  However, the biggest item on that list was ignored by the mainstream media; that Snoop and the other investors promised to give 10% of their shares back to the Reddit community in the form of a cryptocurrency.  In the sites comments section, Reddit CEO Yishan Wong went into greater detail about how this would work.

We are thinking about creating a cryptocurrency and making it exchangeable (backed) by those shares of reddit, and then distributing the currency to the community. The investors have explicitly agreed to this in their investment terms. Nothing like this has ever been done before.”

The concept of creating a cryptocurrency to reward it’s own community is a great idea that should be heralded by the media, instead of ignored.  Companies often ignore their communities and the fact that Reddit, and it’s investors, see the value of setting aside millions to reward its consumer base instead of its shareholders.  So do you think made history today by deciding to try and put the community first?  Or is the media right? Is it all about Snoop Dogg and /r/trees?

Yinshan Wong - photo from http://i.imgur.com/wFVhIX2.jpg

“An investment like this doesn’t mean we’re rich or successful. Money can become worthless very quickly, value is something that is built over time through hard work.

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