The front page of the Internet — or at least some people’s Internet — now officially has a publication to call its own. Today Reddit launched Upvoted, a site with stories sourced from the online community and written by a small team of editors.
Upvoted, the website, follows on the launch of some earlier editorial experiments from Reddit this year, including Upvoted the podcast, and Upvoted Weekly, an email newsletter, both designed to showcase some of the best material working its way across Reddit.
The website was only the next editorial evolution for Reddit, writes Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian:
This launch of upvoted.com is the next logical step in celebrating the Reddit community: a hub for original content to give Redditors credit, as well as go beyond the original story to learn more about the people and ideas that bubble up across this site of 202 million monthly users (bigger than Brazil!). And of course, you can discuss every piece of original content at r/upvoted.
Upvoted, the website, has been in works for some time, as Reddit, like a number of tech-focused companies this year, began hiring editors.
The shift into producing content comes after a tumultuous summer for Reddit: In July, users shut down a number of subreddits after Reddit’s director of talent, Victoria Taylor, was unceremoniously let go. Shortly after that, CEO Ellen Pao resigned and cofounder Steve Huffman took the top job, soon laying out plans to ban harassment on the site.
Upvoted is both a fresh start for Reddit and a nod to the diehards. As an independent website, Upvoted will likely be easier to navigate for the uninitiated than diving into sometimes confusing maze of subreddits. But the stories themselves will come from the Reddit community itself, with posters getting credit for discoveries or being interviewed by Upvoted staff. Interestingly enough, the site won’t have comments, instead directing readers to take their discussion back to Reddit.
Upvoted is also a way for Reddit’s community to capture some of the success from viral stories that have migrated onto other sites. In recent years, Reddit users have frequently accused individual writers and news sites of plagiarizing their discoveries.
As Julia Greenburg writes at Wired, Upvoted presents an opportunity for Reddit to grow its community and potentially collect new advertising revenue:
“The stuff our community creates on a daily basis blows our mind,” Upvoted’s team said in an email. “Unfortunately, rather than telling that story, some news outlets take our users’ content and repackage it as their own. They don’t tell the backstory of our communities. We think our users’ stories need to be told, but with them at the center of it.” That’s exactly what Upvoted sets out to do. It also shows that Reddit is anxious to keep the eyeballs — and ad dollars — that go to other news organizations closer to home.