Expenses mounting, Reddit updates its Gold membership and asks its 46M unique visitors to pay

Expenses mounting, Reddit updates its Gold membership and asks its 46M unique visitors to pay

Reddit today announced it saw a over 3.8 billion pageviews from more than 46 million unique visitors in October 2012. With server costs continuing to grow, the social news Web site has been working on big update to Reddit Gold, its premium service for paying members. The company says it has never promoted Reddit Gold before, but now wants to expand the program in order to drive more revenue, as opposed to simply relying on ads.

The changelog for Reddit Gold is rather vague; here’s what’s new:

  • An oft-requested feature: comment saving and filtering saves by subreddit.
  • Ability to give gold inline to comments you really like (called “gilding”).
  • Some upgrades and fun stuff in the members-only lounge that may or may not exist.
  • “We might add a remote-controlled office robot you can drive. Under construction.”
  • Reddit is talking to some companies “to provide special perks or access to stuff for gold members.”

The most interesting part of the announcement is that Reddit says these features won’t necessarily stay exclusive to its paid members:

We don’t always intend to make these features gold-only — in cases where it would be beneficial for everyone to have them, we’ll eventually migrate the features to the whole community. But for reddit gold members, you get first peek.

This is good news, as the Reddit isn’t just focusing on Reddit Gold moving forward; it’s just using the program as a way to test out new features. In other words, Reddit is well aware of the fact that isolating paid members too much from its larger user base is a bad idea. The strategy is to reward those who want to pay you money, not hurt those who want to use your service period.

Update: The Reddit submission for the announcement has more details on the decision, courtesy of Reddit CEO Yishan Wong. You can read it in for yourself here.

See also – Reddit user captures video of 2012 voting machines altering votes [Update: Confirmed] and Obama drops by Reddit to ask for an upvote at the polls, says his AMA questions were “not bad”

Image credit: Sachin Ghodke

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