On Tuesday, Reddit will be making a big move into the original content market by launching its own news site called Upvoted.
Upvoted functions much like any other general news site, Wired reports. It will have articles and multimedia projects on topics from breaking news to animals to sports. The stories will be reported by a team of around ten, who will find stories on Reddit, track down the original posters, and turn out a journalistic piece.
Upvoted seems to be Reddit’s response to two phenomena.The first is advertiser reluctance to do business with a site that has come to represent the dark side of the internet. Reddit has, fairly or not, been portrayed as a community that is at times hatefully out of control. Upvoted, which will launch with no comments section, looks like a play to create something more palatable to advertisers.
The second phenomenon is news sites mining Reddit for content. Many new media sites find stories on Reddit and repackage them for their own monetary benefit. And in a twist of irony, some of these stories are then posted on Reddit itself and go viral. For Reddit, this is a frustrating loop of internet content, according to Wired.
While Upvoted stories won’t be given preferential treatment on Reddit, one can imagine Reddit users being more inclined to upvote them.
“Everything will have a direct tie back to Reddit,” Vickie Chang, the former MySpace editorial director who will lead Upvoted, told Wired. “I want to find the tiny thread that connects it back to Reddit.” At present, Chang’s team will craft 10 to 20 stories per day, but want to eventually push that toward 40.
And how will the site make money?
It won’t have banner ads or pop-ups, but instead be monetized via “sponsored content.” These stories will be funded by advertisers, but will be written by the same team that does the news stories. This is quite an uncommon arrangement for a journalistic outlet, as the editorial and advertising sides of the organisation are usually separate, at least at the basic level.
“They’re going to be just as interesting as actual content,” Chang says of the advertiser-paid stories. “It could be a piece on Tesla, a piece on how WiFi works, no matter what it will be good content — and it will just happened to be sponsored.”