NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.
Condé Nast-owned Reddit, a news aggregator site, announced today that it is finally hiring some new minions to keep the site up and running after a large number of complaints about the site constantly going down.
Reddit has doubled the size of its sales and systems administration teams — up from one person each to a whopping two. The site also hired two power users in the community to manage its customer service complaints. Aside from those four hires, Reddit indicated that it plans to hire additional staff to keep the site up and running due to overwhelming demand from its users.
With any luck, the new staff will help keep the site from getting a case of the Tumblrs. Condé Nast, the site’s owner, doesn’t typically throw the news aggregator a bone despite the site’s periodic downtime. To get around that, Reddit has initiated a subscription program called Reddit Gold that adds a few new features and sells sponsored links on the main page. Both of those sources of revenue allowed Reddit to pick up the new hires — and to hire additional staff in the future, according to the Reddit administrators.
It is a bit curious that Condé Nast won’t throw additional support behind the site — or at least that it waited until now to do so, if they have any part of the new hires. The site had more than 1 billion hits in January and now sees around 14 million unique users each month. Reddit’s Mike Schiraldi couldn’t get into specifics about Condé Nast’s involvement in the hires but said Reddit Gold memberships played a large part.
“All reddit gold revenue goes right back into the site, either in terms of more servers or more people,” he said. “Condé Nast does not seize it to buy Picassos for the executive washroom.”
Reddit has basically dominated the news aggregation space amongst the geeks of the Internet along with Y Combinator’s Hacker News after aggregator Digg redesigned its site and sparked a large exodus amongst its users. Digg now has 8.2 million unique visitors, down from nearly 16 million unique visitors in August, according to traffic research firm Quantcast.
Reddit has around 14 employees working from San Francisco, New York, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. It was founded by Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman, who sold the service to Condé Nast and went on to work with travel site Hipmunk (a favorite of VentureBeat’s Anthony Ha).