Three months ago, Reddit launched Upvoted, a podcast exploring significant Reddit stories. Its 14 episodes have received 600,000 total downloads so far, and now the Reddit staff is doubling down and launching a newsletter: “Upvoted Weekly,” a curated list of the best stuff users have made popular on Reddit in the last week.
Reddit is composed of all user-submitted content, which users can either “upvote” or “downvote,” making popular posts more visible and burying unpopular posts under the content mountain. Only the highest-voted content rises to the top of the various “subreddit” communities–and only the highest-voted stories among all subreddits make it to the coveted front page, the web-traffic Holy Grail.
Upvoted was the site’s first step in a more editorial direction, and “Upvoted Weekly” seems to be another. Until now, Reddit has been wary of speaking for or about its community, posting only feature updates to the site in the Reddit staff blog. But the newsletter–which will be curated by real-life Reddit employees, not just the upvoting algorithm–is aimed to be both community update and outreach publication. Whereas the particular composition of the Reddit front page changes depending on which subreddits you, the Redditor, actually subscribe to, the newsletter won’t be personalized. Instead, the hope seems to be that having humans curate the newsletter will draw attention to stories across the wide range of subreddit communities.
Curation also make sense from an audience development standpoint, says Reddit spokesperson Ashley Dawkins. “We are hoping this opens the door to Reddit ‘lurkers’ who will eventually become more involved in community discussions and content creation,” she said in an email. “We also want to re-engage our active users by exposing them to new and interesting Reddit news from communities they have little to no knowledge of.”
Creating Upvoted was partly about celebrating the amazing stories that arise from the Reddit community–but it was also about getting a hand in how those stories were told. After years of Reddit content getting scooped up by hungry media outlets, Upvoted–and now “Upvoted Weekly”–was about giving credit where credit was due.
“Our hope is that readers will get a full-circle experience,” Dawkins says.