Reddit, the self-proclaimed front page of the Internet, announced on Tuesday the launch of its new news website, Upvoted: A Redditorial Publication.
Founded in 2005 by CEO Steve Huffman and college friend Alexis Ohanian, Reddit is an entertainment, social networking and news website featuring user-generated links; it’s essentially an online bulletin board system. The popular website gets visits from 202 million unique users each month, and is equal parts conversational and controversial.
The launch of the new website seems to be a business decision—a response to Reddit’s meltdown over the summer, which was the result of attempted control of the website’s most offensive content. Reddit is notorious for being a gloves-off, no-holds-barred community, and was recently accused for being a more racist and violent site than Stormfront—the largest hate forum on the Internet, which was founded by a former Alabama Klan leader. Reddit’s attempt to control its offensive content and stray away from the dangerous accusations against it backfired, and resulted in firing an employee, as well as many volunteers rebelling.
This is where Upvoted comes in.
Upvoted is a news production run by journalists who are dedicated to highlighting top content from Reddit’s sprawling and ever-growing community. The website is expecting to release 10 to 20 editorials a day to start, and aims to eventually release 40 a day. Upvoted will also release one podcast and two videos per week—one being an ask-me-anything type, and the other being an episode of its web series, featuring people such as Neil De Grasse Tyson.
Just from comparing the two websites’ home pages alone, Upvoted seems a lot more user friendly. The design is clean and navigable, whereas Reddit’s home page seems overwhelming and cluttered, which could leave non-Reddit users feeling disheartened and leaving the site entirely. Upvoted is also going to steer clear of the Reddit-user lingo commonly found on the site to make the new website more enjoyable and useable for non-Reddit regulars.
Upvoted has 10 topics to choose from: Interesting, News, Science & Tech, Gaming, Entertainment, Food & Drink, Animals, Funny, Lifestyle, Perspectives, Sports, and Travel.
Main editor, Vickie Chang, says that the website was created in part because of the way Reddit’s content is getting used by other news websites. Stories featured on Reddit are often and commonly picked up by news websites, and Upvoted is designed to provide these stories with more detail—hoping to provide the whole story—including what led up to the viral post, and what happened after.
Gaging the website’s reception so far, the most shocking change about Upvoted from Reddit is its absence of comments, and—despite its name—there is no “upvoting” system to help certain stories reach the front page. Coming from a website that is built almost entirely on the conversations of its community, it’s easy to see why people are skeptical of the no-comments aspect of Upvote. However, this is the biggest step to steer clear of Reddit’s violent and controversial content that seems to be surfacing more frequently. Upvoted will provide the quality, detail-oriented stories—without the content that’s continuously giving Reddit a bad name.