Media outlets like BuzzFeed regularly turn to Reddit to find content that could go viral. Now, the social news site is taking matters into its own hands, with the launch of a new editorial site that will take advantage of Reddit’s deep well of user-generated content.
Upvoted, which calls itself a “Redditorial publication,” will host content created by its staff, all of which will have origins in Reddit threads and forums. One of the site’s top stories right now, titled “How Three Survivors of Suicide Spent Their Last Days On Earth,” features interviews with people who wrote about their suicide attempts in an Ask Reddit thread.
Helmed by former Myspace editorial director Vickie Chang, Upvoted hopes to eventually published about 40 stories per day. (It currently only features about 10 to 20 daily stories.) But the most interesting thing about Reddit’s new site is that it will not include comments or upvotes, Reddit’s method of ranking posts, directly on the page. Instead, each Upvoted story will link to a discussion thread that lives on the subreddit r/Upvoted.
For a company whose core product was founded on the ideals of open discourse, the decision to nix user input from the article page is surprising. But Reddit is likely attempting to create a “safe” space that is infused with its DNA but devoid of the sexist and racist commentary that has long plagued Reddit forums.
According to Wired, however, Upvoted won’t shy away from covering Reddit’s controversial content or the ongoing criticisms of its leadership. “I don’t have any hard steadfast rules,” Chang told Wired. “If it’s a topic of discussion, the community is always going to be our first priority.”
Upvoted isn’t Reddit’s first attempt to capitalize on its vast digital community: In January, the company started a podcast to discuss the site’s most popular recent posts. Cofounder Alexis Ohanian touted it as a way to wrestle control back from the digital media sites that siphon content from Reddit. “In a way, Reddit is now creating content because it was already happening by other companies,” Ohanian told Fast Company at the time. “But we wanted to do it responsibly, working with the users who make Reddit special, instead of just grabbing their content for pageviews.”
In April, Reddit followed the launch of its podcast with another editorially slanted move: a newsletter called Upvoted Weekly, which curates the week’s best content from across Reddit. In some ways, Reddit’s growth strategy is similar to that of Twitter: Both platforms are frequented by a core set of users, and both are looking to endear themselves to a wider audience.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said that Upvoted will not allow comments. Each story on Upvoted will in fact link to a discussion thread in the subreddit r/Upvoted.
[via The Guardian]