In 2005, Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian co-founded reddit – surely unaware of what the site would become. In a year, reddit would become a Conde Nast property. As of today, reddit is seeing over six billion pageviews a month from nearly 200 million unique visitors.
But Huffman’s not too happy with the Front Page or the efforts reddit has made in mobile since his departure.
“I don’t think they’re doing a very good job right now and that is frustrating to watch,” he said in a recent interview with IT Pro. “I think the front page is atrocious these days. That said, they have done a very admirable job of staying alive and dealing with the controversies.”
“Their mobile sucks and the product hasn’t changed since I left in any significant way. So it hasn’t aged very well. I think the product (…) the mobile strategy could be a lot better,” he continued.
Reddit recently purchased top reddit iOS app Alien Blue, which in lieu of a true native reddit app will now serve as the “official reddit app”.
Those are some seemingly strong words from a company’s co-founder. Of course, words can sound harsher than the speaker ever intended.
While I stand by my criticism of the front page – I’ve said for years I think reddit should work to make it more diverse – I’m really upset they would claim I’m not proud of reddit, or twist my words to support that narrative.
I’m incredibly proud of what reddit has become. It’s wonderful and has grown far beyond what I ever could have imagined in the early days.
The IT Pro article also claims that “the full terms of that 2006 deal have never been made public but the feeling is that had they held out, Huffman and Ohanian could now be billionaires.”
Huffman simply said that was “doubtful”.
He also provided a little bit of insight on the Conde Nast sale:
Dead is too strong a word. It felt like the company was falling apart. Was it actually? Hard to say. Also, we felt like we were heading into a rough economy (correct), and that we might not be able to survive on our own. It was important to both Alexis and I to finish out our contracts at Conde (three year), which we did. I think everyone agrees they got their money’s worth…
Post-reddit, Huffman founded travel site Hipmunk in 2010.
Image via rhettigan, Flickr Creative Commons