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This article was published on April 22, 2016

Fired Reddit exec quietly launches ‘Imzy,’ a warmer, fuzzier Reddit

Fired Reddit exec quietly launches ‘Imzy,’ a warmer, fuzzier Reddit
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Dan McComas, the former second-in-command at Reddit — and vocal critic of its more inflammatory groups — wants to build a better Reddit, one that focuses on “healthy, positive communities.”

McComas, as you may remember, was let go — along with Victoria Taylor — in a controversial move that was met with resistance, and ultimately protest, by much of Reddit’s staff and userbase.

McComas has since raised about $3 million for his new site, ‘Imzy,’ which launched earlier this year. Currently, the site has groups dedicated to video games, music, movies and over 400 others.

Imzy aims to use these channels as a way to give content creators a place to interact with their fans through sharing and commenting.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 12.40.13 PM
Credit: Imzy

Individual users and moderators can also earn monetary tips from users, a nice way to incentivize those that consistently find — or create — new and interesting content; something Axe body spray should look into.

These tips are also the site’s primary means of monetization. Unlike Reddit, McComas says, Imzy will not rely on advertising to pay the bills. Instead, he hopes that taking a small percentage of on-site transactions, user donations and creative alternatives such as merchandise sales, or perhaps even classified listings down the road could further fund the project.

At its core though, Imzy wants to provide a safe place to share and discuss without the fear of being harassed, a problem Reddit has struggled with for several years. McComas says, while social sharing sites like Reddit do a great job of growing to scale, they often “attract harassers” and it becomes ingrained in the site’s culture — something I think any Reddit user would have difficulty arguing.

According to McComas:

“When they reach scale they find these problems and eventually try to address them, but you can’t address that in retrospect.”

Addressing the issue before it becomes a part of the site’s culture is what McComas hopes to accomplish with his new warmer, fuzzier Reddit. Whether that can work at scale remains to be seen, but anyone that’s ever been annoyed by the level of harassment on Reddit can certainly see the benefit of McComas’ vision.