Reddit CEO Steve Huffman Discusses Growth Plan After Blockbuster Q1 Results |

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Reddit CEO Steve Huffman Discusses Growth Plan After Blockbuster Q1 Results

Earlier this week, Reddit delighted Wall Street with record user and revenue growth in the quarter ended March. The now 19-year-old platform saw revenue increase 48 percent (to $248 million) and user count jump 37 percent during the January-March period. Yesterday (May 9), Reddit CEO Steve Huffman discussed the high-flying results and the platform’s future growth plan at the Bloomberg Technology Summit in San Francisco.

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Among recent milestones, Huffman highlighted Reddit’s A.I. content licensing deals, efforts to reach overseas markets and the implications of the platform’s recently announced public content policy. 

One driver behind Reddit’s strong revenue growth in the first quarter was a robust digital ad market. At yesterday’s event, Huffman expressed cautious optimism about the ad market’s trajectory, acknowledging its volatility but expressed hope for sustained momentum. “I think one element that isn’t always obvious at first with Reddit is how inherently commercial a lot of the platform is. So just more users is the first thing, and then ad tech,” the CEO told Bloomberg editor Tom Giles during a fireside chat.

Huffman also discussed Reddit’s new public content policy, aimed at balancing Reddit’s commitment to openness with the need to protect user privacy and the platform’s business interests. Huffman described the new policy as “guardrails” placed around public data that allows for commercial and non-commercial agreements while protecting user identities that would prevent them from being targeted.

“We live by the golden rule,” Huffman said. “We don’t want to see these things carried out in a nefarious or malicious way with our content,” although he wouldn’t name names when asked which companies he believed were violating that rule.

The conversation then turned to Reddit’s A.I. licensing deals with Big Tech companies and their revenue potential. Echoing a point he made during an earnings call earlier this week, Huffman stressed Reddit’s selective approach to A.I. partnerships and the evolving nature of the data licensing business. “We are being very picky in who we work with. That means that not every partner is a good fit for Reddit,” he said. Reddit in February sealed a $60 million deal with Google to allow the search engine to use Reddit’s data to train its A.I. models. 

Another area of potential growth is overseas expansion. Currently, about half of Reddit’s site traffic comes from outside of the U.S., a share lower than its larger rivals like Meta. Huffman outlined plans for translating the site’s content into foreign languages with large user bases, such as French and Spanish, while exploring innovative translation technologies to make Reddit more accessible globally. 

“What we’re doing here is we’re using large language models to translate the entire Reddit corpus,” Huffman explained, adding that the company’s translation efforts will make two decades’ worth of conversations more accessible using “human quality translation.”

The discussion wrapped up around Reddit’s future product offerings, including upcoming updates to “Reddit awards” and plans for the user economy. “We’ll see some product stuff coming out very soon, within the next couple of months,” Huffman said. “We’ve got a new version of awards, if you use Reddit you know we had awards and then we shut them off— now they’re coming back better than ever and we’ll just keep iterating the product from there.” 


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