Reddit, now a public company and subject to greater scrutiny of revenue growth, is focusing on growing its international audience, starting with French-speaking countries. During their first earnings call, CEO Steve Hoffman confirmed that the company is currently working on automatically translating website content into French in real time thanks to advances in large-scale language models.

He also talked about the expansion of the ecosystem through several U-turns. It hopes to attract developers with new tools — surprising given the company’s history in this regard; and it plans to relaunch Reddit Gold — considering the company canceled its virtual currency business less than a year ago. This was another surprise.

Moves like this are predicting Reddit’s future, not its present. Today, the news is relatively encouraging, with Reddit’s revenue rising 48% year-over-year to $243 million in the last quarter, and unique users growing 37% to 82.7 million. (This number includes logged in and logged out users, similar to how Twitter (now known as X) calculated its audience when it went public.)

User growth and translation

Half of Reddit’s viewers are from the United States, Huffman said on the earnings call, signaling the company’s increased focus on increasing international proportions.

“We’re still 50/50 U.S. to non-U.S., but our peers are over 80 to 90 percent non-U.S.,” he said. “I think there’s a huge opportunity there.” He went on to describe AI-driven automatic translation as “one of the big challenges we face in the short to medium term.”

“So today we are translating the entire corpus, mainly English, into other languages, which hopefully will help accelerate international growth,” he said.

In his words, despite the huge investment of resources, the full-site translation work is still a test. Hoffman noted that the content was also indexed in Google’s French search results, driving more traffic to the site, and the company hopes to address the Spanish language issue next.

Reddit has been offering post-based translations in eight languages ​​since last year.

Developer Tools

It was surreal to hear Hoffman talk about developer tools on the conference call. It wasn’t until July 2023 that the company found itself embroiled in a massive feud with third-party client developers over API changes, resulting in hundreds of Reddit subreddits being blocked in protest of the API changes.

Social networks are in fun mode right now. Hoffman said they are planning to develop tools to “push the boundaries of Reddit subreddits.” He gave some examples of ongoing experiments, such as live scores on some sports subreddits and live stock quotes on r/wallstreetbets, a subreddit made famous by the Gamestop stock saga.

Hundreds of developers are already testing these new experiences, he said. Reddit aims to include more developers on its waitlist this summer and enable monetization later this year.

Other announcements

Earlier this year, Reddit signed a deal with Google to allow the search engine company to use the social network’s data. In response to questions from the Reddit community, Huffman said the company also plans to license the data to other companies. This is a big issue, and in many cases controversial, as users may not want their data to be used for AI training or some other common purposes. As you may have guessed, however, Hoffman insists that the company is “thoughtful and selective” in choosing partners.

The company now aims to build more infrastructure to generate revenue. So while gold and another currency project – blockchain-based Community Points – were both canceled last year, the virtual currency will make another appearance on the platform as it represents an opportunity for Reddit to diversify its business model . During the earnings call, the company noted that it plans to launch an “improved” Gold product that will provide users with plans to spend and earn money on the platform.

Last month, Reddit Chief Product Officer Pali Bhat mentioned some of these new initiatives in an interview with TechCrunch, and now the company is taking steps to leverage these growth tools.

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