Sponsored posts are coming to Reddit’s app, but it’s not really a shock
It was only a matter of time before Reddit began introducing native sponsored ads into its mobile platform, and that time is now. Starting Monday, sponsored posts, previously only shown on desktop, will begin rolling out across Reddit’s official app.
Unlike the sponsored posts on desktop, though, the mobile ads behave and act just like any post on Reddit. Users will be able to vote and comment to their heart’s content, which yes, does mean that advertisers will be put in front of cynical, consumer-adverse communities like r/hailcorporate and r/fellowkids users for their bare naked scrutiny.
Still, brands are able to turn off comments and votes on their posts, so you might not see a barrage of down-votes and snarky comments at all.
Speaking to AdAge, Reddit explained that it wants “to make sure the ads actually enhance the user experience. We don’t want ads that disrupt, so having native posts is very important to us.”
Reddit’s official app is still fairly new in the grand scheme of things, having only been released in the past two years. But since then, it’s already become the main way for people to access the platform, accounting for 41% of all time spent on Reddit.
While some might grumble, it’s probably one of the most discursive ways of implementing ads. Ads have been on Reddit for a long time, but according to a 2017 Recode interview with co-founder, Steve Huffman, have really only been done with any kind of structure since 2015.
With sponsored posts, Reddit gives users the freedom to criticise and discuss the brand if the option is enabled. Considering that Huffman told Recode that the company was not profitable just a year ago, expanding ads for Reddit’s growing mobile readership makes sense. For the company, there’s not really any other way for it to go.