Although the massively popular beast that is the reddit machine is still struggling to turn a profit, that has in no way dampened its giving spirit. The company has just announced that it is going to donate 10% of this year’s advertising revenue to charity–charities that the reddit community votes upon.
When 2014 comes to a close and reddit tallies up its total ad revenue, it’ll “hold an election” based on community-nominated charities. The top ten charities will receive some portion of the 10% ad revenue pie, proportional to how many votes each garners.
“We want to show that advertising doesn’t just support the reddit platform, it also directly supports the causes and goals of reddit as a whole,” says reddit CEO Yishan Wong in a blog post.
Of course, Wong knows that online votes are often manipulated by large online communities, for instance the one he runs, so he’s basically reserving the right to veto any “charities” that make it to the top via “obvious trolling.”
“Ultimately, it will be up to all of you what happens – if things go well, the community will be responsible for disbursing a very real amount of money to a set of causes of your choice. If it doesn’t go well – then we’ll simply just pick by ourselves,” says Wong.
Either way, that 10% is going somewhere other than reddit’s coffers.
Wong took the reins as reddit CEO nearly two years ago. In that time, the “front page of the internet” has grown in ways few could have expected. But billions of pageviews do not necessarily an empire make, and Wong has admitted that reddit is still in the red.
Reddit makes its money from three places, primarily: ads, selling reddit gold, and through the redditgifts marketplace. It’s the latter that Wong feels has the best chance of sustaining the site moving forward.
“Our backers are saying, ‘Don’t worry about making money, just keep money and grow things,'” Wong said in an interview with Reuters in December. “But I would like Reddit to be self-sustaining because I think that’s a healthy way for a business to run. It means that what you’re doing provides real value, and Reddit Gifts is so promising because it can do that.”
Image via reddit