When Condé Nast acquired Reddit 5 years ago, they were getting 700k page views daily.
Today, Reddit gets 700k page views in a less than an hour… at 3am. In peak times, it can get that much traffic in 15 minutes.
Reddit announced today in a blog post aptly called Independence that they are forming reddit Inc, a corporation owned by Advance Publications (the company that owns Condé Nast). As a testament to the power of Reddit, the posting of the story was able to take down the server that hosted the blog post for a few minutes.
The board will be comprised of reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Bob Sauerberg and Joe Simon from Condé Nast, and Andrew Siegel from Advance. A CEO search is also beginning.
“We built reddit during the most tumultuous years of my life and never could’ve imagined how far it’d come,” Ohanian, who left the company in 2009 but returned earlier this year, said on Google+. “The investment of time and love changed my life the day Condé Nast acquired us, but I never could divest myself.”
The relationship has been up and down between Reddit and Conde Naste over the years. Allowing Reddit to be its own company and not just a division of the media giant will allow them to make decisions centered around the success of the corporation and the website. Despite massive traffic (which has exploded in the last 12 months) and a robust Reddit user base, the site has not made many strides towards profitability. That has never really been the focus.
The goals of becoming a true leader on the internet will require them “to positively impact journalism, civic engagement, fundraising, product development, and learning.” These are all things that are well within their grasp now.
Who will be the CEO? As Reddit user ggggbabybabybaby reminds us, “I heard some big-shot CEO at Apple just recently left, maybe you can hire him. Someone said his previous salary was only $1 so you could probably double that.”