“We’re not a zeitgeist, viral, follow me platform”: Reddit COO on non-English expansion


As Reddit makes its first big breakthrough in non-English speaking countries, its next job is to convince native brands that the “Internet’s front page” is the place for them. Drum questions COO Jen Wong on this expansion.

German Reddit audience grew 47% year over year – an impressive figure when you realize that it has not yet really supported a non-English speaking audience.

Its COO, Jen Wong, told The Drum that the Community Platform Ambassador program is designed to seize this opportunity. “[The ambassadors] think about which communities are white spaces for us, and they recruit other people to think about some really engaging topic content, and often start with, you know, link curation, then a chat, or might start by taking an idea of ​​a global subreddit and translating it into the local language.

“So if you take some of the stuff from r / askreddit, they‘s really great. These are amazing prompts that would work all over the world. But they are not in German, or they are not in the local languages. Switching to a local language triggers the same level of conversation you would see in English.

English-speaking countries, she says, still have room to grow their audience and interactions on the platform organically. Germany – and the other territories in which it wishes to develop – require a more proactive approach. She believes such an expansion is based not only on business considerations, but also on how different audiences consume content on the platform.

Wong, for example, cites South American audiences as being very video-oriented. Some countries are more “Content-forward”, while others have a higher proportion of users who visit the platform to passively consume.

New languages ​​and opportunities

Basically for the platform’s growth ambitions, these relatively easy solutions such as supporting other languages ​​and taking into account consumer habits are supported by Reddit by reaching out to local and regional agencies to encourage brands. to invest on the platform.

“We want people who have a local sensibility, so either we put someone on the market. – in this case we have brought sellers to Germany – and in other cases we have people from UK with language skills and market knowledge to cover these markets when there is local buying .

It’s part of what she calls a two-pronged attack – targeting big brands that want to buy centrally versus mid-range brands that prioritize reaching a local audience.

“At the moment, for large clients, itis very mixed. Some are really centralized and do all their shopping for each country, and some want to buy locally. To be thus obviously requires linguistic capacities.

The upside for these brands, she says, is that Reddit is an interest-driven platform, rather than a passive, undifferentiated scrolling place like many social platforms. Therefore, she says, Reddit has a “disproportionate role in thinking” around purchasing.

In addition to unduplicated audiences, which are often not present on other platforms, Wong argues that Reddit also has an “unduplicated mindset.”

“So when you come to Reddit you have a really high intention against the things that interest you. And so your state of mind is really open. And you know it. And as a result, what happens is we have an unduplicated mindset and demographics.

“So, for example, Reddit knows that Iam very deep in gardening. I’m also very into home automation at the moment, because I bought a place that has electric blinds that don’t work. None of my Instagram friends care less about automation, [but] Reddit knows that for me, doesn’t it? Because it’s a place I go for interest. So what we often say is that passionate communities lead to action.

Demonstrate the value of community

In order to demonstrate the ability of Reddit communities to drive brand improvement and even purchase intention, Wong cites the company’s update to the company’s Pixel ad product and its integration of third-party measurement tools that give trust advertisers in its online advertisements. Since these appear in the feeds of the individual communities that users have opted in to, the idea is that the ads are relevant and less disruptive.

“Our job is to engage brands in the experience in a way thatis frictionless. That’s the challenge of the time, right? And brands want to be involved in these experiences, but they don’t want to be a barrier. “

To that end, she says Reddit encourages its brands to conduct Q&A using Reddit’s standard AMA format, in addition to the ability to create profile pages that serve as a hub for the brand’s activities itself. same. This strategy, of making brands coexist alongside the communities they want to reach, is based on a recognition of the limits of Reddit as a platform as much as of its strengths and sustainability.

“There are things in customer onboarding, the consumer experience, I think we could do better. We could have an easier introduction to communities that are not easy to find. So there are things. that we can do that are better, I think that’s what makes it difficult.

“Weyou’re not a zeitgeist, viral, follow me, have a million subscribers tomorrow kind of platform, we’re never gonna be that. What’s special about Reddit is that we’ve been around for 16 years. And if you look at our influence over time … it steadily increases and everyone goes up and down. The reason is that what is so magical is that when people build these communities and this content, it is like a corpus of human existence.

Reddit invests in making itself more friendly to brands and advertisers, from renewing its advertising products to developing local expertise in the new territories it is expanding into, but a big part of that is advising brands for the best. adapt to its audiences.


About Norma Wade

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