In the past few years, an upstart social new site known as Reddit has leaped over the rest of the competition to become one of the Web’s hottest destinations. An infographic prepared by the folks at Sortable takes a look at the growth of the social media darling.
What makes Reddit special is that instead of having one giant site for everybody, the site is divided into “subreddits” ranging from everything to tech news, to video games, all the way to things you might not want your boss or any shoulder surfers to catch you looking at. And anyone can create a subreddit for free. Reddit’s playful anarchy might cause some Internet veterans to recall the heyday of Usenet and its “alt.*” hierarchy.
Founded in 2005 by Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman, the site was funded by Paul Graham’s Y Combinator, a firm that gives “seed money” and advice to startups. The site grew quite well over the next few years, being acquired by publishing giant Condé Nast. Ohanian and Huffman evenetually left to form Hipmunk, which is currently the most awesome travel booking site in existence.
While the site was already popular, Reddit got a boost when rival Digg unveiled a massively unpopular redesign, causing many Digg users to flee to Reddit and inevitable cries of “Eternal September.”
Reddit has also garnered a reputation for the generosity of its community. Whenever a Reddit user needs help, other redditors will step in with advice, money, and other resources if needed. A subreddit called “Random Acts of Pizza” has its subscribers sending (you guessed it) free pizzas to other people. There are similar subreddits for coffee, cookies, and general kindness. Redditors have also raised money to help people affected by the 2010 Haiti earthquake and other disasters.
Reddit is one of the fastest growing and addictive internet communities, adding new posts and subreddits every day. It looks like they’re only going to get bigger, unless they do something really dumb like roll out a terrible new design the way Digg did.