Get excited folks – reddit has launched a mobile app for its popular AMA (Ask Me Anything) section. The Q&A style of the AMAs are sometimes difficult to read with the outpouring of user-submitted questions being introduced, voted up and more. It can become overwhelming, even for the most avid readers of the section. This new app will streamline the process and make it easier to read, while being able to filter through different topics that the AMAs fall under.
“We want to make it easier for new users to join reddit and experience all the awesome content,” Reddit Senior VP Ellen Pao told Variety. “That’s part of the overall goal of becoming a more mature company.”
While this isn’t the first attempt by the company to get into the mobile app game (reddit launched one in 2011 but failed to gain downloads after complaints about the app glitching), it does show that reddit is addressing where new users are coming from – mobile. In August, 40% of new users of the site came from mobile, which is five times more than it was three years ago.
This also mirrors a trend of mobile usage rising. People are spending more time consuming content on their smartphones than ever before. In 2013, mobile internet surpassed desktop use and there’s no sign of it slowing down. Mobile website traffic across all industries is growing by 3.5% per month. Also, 61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience and brands are taking note of this.
In a study by the Mobile Marketing Association and IHS Global Insight, it is projected that brand spending on mobile marketing will reach close to $20 billion by 2015, also with no sign of decreasing as time goes on.
Within reddit, Nissan is one brand that has found success with native advertising on reddit, albeit not within the AMA section, but elsewhere on the site. They hosted a thread, in partnership with Amazon, that asked users to post their favorite things from Amazon, which resulted in Nissan delivering a car via Amazon and a photo of the car in an Amazon branded box to be No.1 on reddit’s front page. That's a huge deal for any brand.
So what does this all mean for reddit and brands? Our take is that although reddit has had issues monetizing its platform for native advertising in the past, it's definitely taking a positive step forward now to appease users and incorporate appropriate brand usage – within the platform and within the booming mobile marketing industry. For brands, it means they can get into the AMA space by empowering their employees to speak about a unique aspect of the brand. For example, there are many NASA threads from employees talking about their jobs, from the engineers and scientists working on the Mars Curiosity Rover Mission to an Aerospace Engineer who worked on different aspects for the space shuttles, like designing toilets. Both are unique aspects about working for NASA that garnered a lot of questions and attention, and make the brand and its employees rock stars.