Timeline of Reddit
This is a timeline of Reddit, an entertainment, social networking, and news website where registered community members can submit content, such as text posts or direct links, making it essentially an online bulletin board system.
|Time period||Key developments at Reddit|
|2005||In the beginning, Reddit's creators help seed Reddit with numerous fake accounts.|
|2006||Apart from "reddit.com", "NSFW" is the most popular subreddit at the beginning of 2006. "Programming" becomes the second most popular subreddit for most of the year. Then by the end of the year, "science" gets launched and soon becomes the third most popular subreddit.|
|2007||For most of the year, "science" and "programming" are the most popular subreddits (apart from "reddit.com"). They then get displaced by "politics" as the most popular non-"reddit.com" subreddit towards the end of the year.|
|2008||This year is dominated by the launch of numerous new subreddits. By the end of the year (except for a short-lived blip following the 2008 Presidential election), no one subreddit (not even "reddit.com") would capture more than 50% of Reddit's attention. From the beginning of 2008 (to at least the end of 2012), there is a continual exponential increase in the number of unique subreddits people submitted to each week.|
|mid-2010||Reddit overtakes Digg in search popularity.|
|2010–2012||From the beginning to the end of 2010 (and following Reddit's move to Amazon AWS servers in November 2009), Reddit more than triples in pageviews and bandwidth count. By February 2011, reddit reached 1 billion page-views per month. Within a year (by January 2012), Reddit again doubled in pageviews and reached 2 billion pageviews per month.|
|2010–2012||Top-level content on Reddit transitions from majority text-based to majority image-based. On January 1, 2010, 27/100 of the top posts were images. By January 1, 2012, 77/100 of the top posts were images.|
|2012–2014||Reddit achieves 37 billion pageviews in 2012, 56 billion pageviews in 2013, and 71.25 billion pageviews in 2014. Yishan Wong serves as Reddit's CEO from March 2012 to November 2014. Wong is replaced by Ellen Pao in November 2014. By September 2014, Reddit raises $50 million in funding in a Series B round, and makes its first app acquisition in October 2014.|
|2014–2016||On July 10, 2015 Pao resignes as CEO and is replaced by Reddit cofounder Steve Huffman.|
|2017||Reddit adds more social network features to go with user profile pages, including the ability to follow other users and location tagging. Throughout the year, the site receives approximately 542 million monthly visitors, including 234 million unique visitors, which makes Reddit it the 7th most visited website in the United States, and 22nd in the world.|
|2018||Reddit surpasses Facebook to become the 3rd most visited website in the United States for a few months.|
|Year||Month and date||Event type||Details|
|2001||November||Competition||StumbleUpon is founded as a discovery and advertisement engine that pushes web content recommendations to its users. It would be shut down in June 2018, and Reddit would be considered its best successor.|
|2003||October 1||Competition||imageboard website 4chan is launched.|
|2004||November||Competition||Digg is founded as a news aggregator. Its popularity would prompt the creation of similar social networking sites with story submission and voting systems such as Reddit.|
|2005||June||Company||Reddit is founded in Medford, Massachusetts by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian. It raises $100k in seed funding from Y Combinator.|
|2005||Late year||Product||Reddit merges with Aaron Swartz's company Infogami.|
|2005||December||Product||Reddit adds commenting.|
|2006||October 18||Community||/r/science launches.|
|2006||October||Company||Condé Nast (the publisher) acquires Reddit for less than $20 million. Team moves to San Francisco.|
|2007||January||Team||Aaron Swartz is fired.|
|2008||January||Product||Reddit decides to let users create their own custom reddits, or subreddits.|
|2008||March 19||Community||r/MensRights is created.|
|2008||June||Product||Reddit becomes open-source.|
|2009||January||Community||One of the most popular subreddits, "IAmA" (I am a), is created. Many famous people would proceed to participate in AmAs (Ask me Anything) from the community.|
|2009||February 23||Competition||Imgur is launched as an image-host by a Redditor seeking an easy way to share photos to Reddit. Imgur is developed to be the de facto image hosting service for Reddit.|
|2009||October||Team||Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman leave reddit. Steve Huffman helps form Hipmunk, and Alexis helps form Breadpig.|
|2009||November||Product||Reddit decommissions its last physical servers and moves its hosting to Amazon Web Services.|
|2009||late in year||Product||The online gift exchange Redditgifts runs for the first time.|
|2010||June 7||Product||Reddit launches a revamped mobile interface featuring rewritten CSS, a new color scheme, and a multitude of improvements.|
|2010||July||Product||Reddit introduces Reddit Gold, in order to help raise more money for the site.|
|2010||July||Product||The Reddit Enhancement Suite is released.|
|2010||July 21||Product||Reddit outsourced the Reddit search engine to Flaptor, who used its search product IndexTank.|
|2011||June 20||Community||Alexander Rhodes creates the NoFap subreddit, r/NoFap.|
|2011||September||Company||Reddit becomes operationally independent of Condé Nast. Reddit is now free to hire a CEO, pick out an ad sales team and figure out its own route to profitability.|
|2011||October||Community||The jailbait subreddit comes to wider attention outside Reddit when Anderson Cooper condemned the subreddit and criticizes Reddit for hosting it. Following this negative news coverage (and the actual posting of the image of an underage girl), Reddit closes "jailbait".|
|2011||October||Community||Reddit closes "reddit.com" and expands its number of default subreddits to 20.|
|2012||January||Community||Reddit announces that it will start a 12-hour sitewide blackout protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act.|
|2012||March||Team||Yishan Wong, a former Facebook employee and PayPal Mafia member, becomes Reddit CEO.|
|2012||April 28||The Reddit serial killer hoax is perpetrated by class members of "Lying about the past", a course taught at George Mason University by T. Mills Kelly. The hoax – about an alleged serial killer named Joseph Scafe – is first debunked in just over an hour after being launched on Reddit.|
|2012||August||Community, Publicity||Barack Obama does an AmA on Reddit. The increased traffic shut down much of the site.|
|2012||October||Censorship||Reddit shuts down "CreepShots", a subreddit dedicated to photos of women taken without their permission in public places, including so-called ‘upskirt’ shots.|
|2013||February||Competition||Online database and search engine Giphy is founded. The site is source of many GIFs shared on Reddit.|
|2013||March||Product (advertising)||Reddit starts using Adzerk for ad serving. This replaces DFP for serving external ads, and replaces Reddit's in-house ad management system for native advertising.|
|2013||April||Community, Publicity||Members of subreddit "findbostonbombers" wrongly identify a number of people as suspects in the Boston Bombings, including a missing Brown University student.|
|2014||January 8||Community||Mother Jones publishes a story describing the sale of guns on the site. The report suggests that sellers are doing so to exploit a loophole in U.S. federal law. Nearly 100 AR-15s were engraved with the Reddit logo as part of licensing deal made with the page in 2011.|
|2014||January||Community||American chemist Nathan Allen begins the /r/science AMA series with the goal of raising the visibility of scientists who are producing groundbreaking work in their fields but who are not well known outside of their fields.|
|2014||February||Company||Reddit announces it will donate 10% of its annual ad revenue to non-profits voted among by its users.|
|2014||June||Community||The "beatingwomen" subreddit is closed by Reddit administrators. The community, which featured graphic depictions of violence against women, is banned after its moderators are found to be sharing users' personal information online, and collaborating to protect one another from sitewide bans. Following the ban, the community's founder would reboot the subreddit under the name "beatingwomen2" in an attempt to circumvent the ban.|
|2014||July||Community||Ben Eisenkop's Reddit account Unidan is banned from Reddit for using alternate (or "sockpuppet") accounts to upvote his own posts and downvote posts by other users that were either attracting attention away from his own or downvote posts from people he was arguing with.|
|2014||August||Publicity||Reddit users begin sharing a large number of naked celebrity photos on the subreddit "TheFappening" in the 2014 celebrity pictures hack. Reddit closes TheFappening a month later.|
|2014||September||Company||Reddit raises $50 million in funding in a Series B round, led by Sam Altman. Also participating in the round: Peter Thiel, Ron Conway, Paul Buchheit, Jared Leto, Jessica Livingston, Kevin and Julia Hartz, Mariam Naficy, Josh Kushner, Snoop Dogg, and Yishan Wong. Reddit plans its own cryptocurrency to give back to the community (later known as "reddit notes").|
|2014||September||Product||An official mobile application for browsing AMA (Ask Me Anything) threads is released for the iOS and Android platforms under the name Ask me Anything.|
|2014||October||Company||Reddit acquires Alien Blue as its first official mobile app.|
|2014||November||Team||Yishan Wong resigns as Reddit CEO. Ellen Pao becomes interim CEO and cofounder Alexis Ohanian returns to Reddit and becomes executive chairman.|
|2014||December 18||Censorship||Reddit takes the unusual step of banning a subreddit; it bans "SonyGOP", which was being used to distribute hacked Sony files.|
|2015||April 1||Community||The Button, a social experiment, is introduced in a post to the official Reddit blog.|
|2015||May||Community||Reddit introduces an anti-harassment policy. It intends to rely on users to report bad actors in the community.|
|2015||May||Product||Reddit announces Reddit Video.|
|2015||June 10||Censorship||Reddit bans five subreddits, citing an anti-harassment policy. The largest of the banned subreddits, "fatpeoplehate," had an estimated 151,000 subscribers at the times of its banning. The other four subreddits are "hamplanethatred," "transfags," "neofag," and "shitniggerssay."|
|2015||June 27||Community||/r/The_Donald is created.|
|2015||June–July||Censorship||Reddit bans multiple subreddits and fires Victoria Taylor, the site's director of talent, who has served on the Reddit team since 2013. Taylor served as a liaison between the moderators of specific subreddits (such as IAmA) and Reddit itself, helping organize and verify interviewees for Reddit's user-led "AmA" sessions. As a result of this and other frustrations with Reddit—such as its moderation tools and its new conduct under Pao—numerous subreddits (such as IAmA, todayilearned, pics and science) temporarily shut themselves down in protest. Subsequently to these and other recent events a petition asking Pao to step down as CEO reaches over 160,000 signatures. On July 10, 2015, Pao resigns and is replaced by cofounder Steve Huffman as CEO.|
|2015||August 18||Team||Reddit hires Marty Weiner, Founding Engineer at Pinterest, as its first Chief Technology Officer.|
|2015||September||Product||Reddit launches Upvoted, a news site that digs out interesting content from reddit, but without enabling commenting.|
|2015||December 15||Product||Reddit announces that it is shutting down reddit.tv.|
|2016||April||Product||Reddit launches a new blocking tool in an attempt to curb online harassment. The tool allows a user to hide posts and comments from selected redditors in addition to blocking private messages from those redditors. The option to block a redditor is done by clicking a button in the inbox.|
|2016||May||Controversy||Reddit CEO Steve Huffman says on an interview at the TNW Conference that, unlike Facebook, which "only knows what [its users are] willing to declare publicly", Reddit knows its users' "dark secrets" at the same time that the website's "values" page is updated in regards to its "privacy" section. The video reaches the top of the website's main feed. Shortly thereafter, announcements concerning new advertisement content would draw criticism on the website.|
|2016||May 25||Product||Reddit launches an image host for submissions to the site, allowing users for the first time to upload images. The release would cause Imgur submission activity to abruptly drop, as the latter was used by Reddit users as an image hosting website.|
|2016||November 23||Community||A member of a subreddit dedicated to Donald Trump, /r/The_Donald posts evidence indicating that Reddit administrators had modified multiple user comments inside the subreddit.|
|2016||November 24||Censorship||The Washington Post reports Reddit has banned the "Pizzagate" conspiracy board from their site stating it violated their policy of posting personal information of others, triggering a wave of criticism from users on r/The_Donald, a popular pro-Trump subreddit, who felt the ban amounted to censorship.|
|2017||February||Censorship||Reddit bans the altright forum for violating its terms of service, more specifically for attempting to share personal information about the man who attacked alt-right figure Richard Spencer. The forum's users and moderators accuse Reddit administrators of having political motivations for the ban.|
|2017||March 22||Product||Reddit introduces profile pages for content creators, enabling users to start threads directly on their profile, which they can moderate themselves. Other users can follow the profiles as they would a subreddit.|
|2017||June 16||Company||Bloomberg reports on Reddit looking for more funding, and aiming for a US$1.7 billion valuation.|
|2017||August 18||Product||Reddit launches its own native video hosting across both desktop and mobile, allowing users to upload videos directly to Reddit instead of relying on third-party services (such as Youtube).|
|2017||October 26||Policy||Reddit announces a new policy banning content that incites violence. Several extremist forums are closed down after the update, including r/NationalSocialism, r/Nazi, r/whitesarecriminals and r/far_right. Reddit's new policy says: "Do not post content that encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people."|
|2017||November 9||Censorship||Reddit bans a controversial message board dedicated to "involuntarily celibate" men, known as "incels", a 41,000-strong community. Several posts in the board have previously condoned, advocated, or downplayed raping women, who were called "femoids" by Incel’s users.|
|2017||December 13||Partnership||Microsoft partners with Reddit in order to make subreddits more searchable with Bing. The partnership is also expected open up opportunities for brands and marketers to take advantage of new business intelligence tools.|
|2017||December 18||Product||Reddit announces a number of changes to its iOS and Android apps, including a new user-to-user chat function. Media consumption-focused app updates include how it handles photos, videos and GIFs, plus the addition of things like live comment feeds, in-app chat, and tools for moderators.|
|2018||January 25||Security||Reddit enables two-factor authentication (2FA), adding a second layer of security by prompting users to enter a 6-digit verification code generated by their phone after entering their password. The security tool works across desktop, mobile, and third-party apps.|
|2018||February 7||Censorship||Reddit shuts down r/deepfakes, a subreddit dedicated to creating fake porn videos using a machine learning algorithm.|
|2018||March 5||Publicity||Reddit admits that Russian propaganda was used on its site during the 2016 United States presidential election and removes suspicious accounts from its site.|
|2018||March 14||Product||Reddit announces that it would be offering promoted posts in its native mobile apps, a feature similar to Facebook's. The company says its iOS and Android apps are now the most popular way for users to access Reddit content on mobile.|
|2018||March 21||Censorship||As part of an update to the company's content policies that prohibit transactions involving some goods and services, Reddit bans subreddits dedicated to dark web drug markets and selling guns, including r/GunDeals, r/GunsForSale and r/AKMarketplace.|
|2018||April 11||Policy||Reddit co-founder and chief executive Steve Huffman says that racism is permitted on the platform and states: “On Reddit, the way in which we think about speech is to separate behavior from beliefs. This means on Reddit there will be people with beliefs different from your own, sometimes extremely so. When users actions conflict with our content policies, we take action.” Many users respond by pointing out that hate speech does constitute behavior in a way, and that communities like r/The_Donald directly participated in the conversation and organizing of events like the white supremacist rally that resulted in the Charlottesville car attack.|
|2018||April 30||Competition||Facebook announces testing for a new Reddit-like feature that lets users "upvote" or "downvote" comments, so results are based on popularity. The new feature is noted by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who comments on the first round of testing in February, calling it the "sincerest form of flattery".|
|2018||May 30||Competition||Reddit overtakes Facebook as the third most popular website in the United States, behind Google and YouTube. It is reported that, on an average, users spend 15 minutes and 10 seconds on Reddit daily, in comparison to 10 minutes and 50 seconds on Facebook.|
|2018||June 6||Research||MIT researchers unveil "Norman", an artificial intelligence labeled a "psychopath," using disturbing image captions found on Reddit.' The project is reported to be a "case study on the dangers of artificial intelligence gone wrong when biased data is used in machine learning algorithms." Researchers state that “Norman suffered from extended exposure to the darkest corners of Reddit, (...) and represents a case study on the dangers of artificial intelligence gone wrong when biased data is used in machine learning algorithms.”|
|2018||June 12||Product||Reddit rolls out native autoplaying video ads across the site on mobile and desktop, further deepening the platform’s ways of putting brands in front of its audience. The new video ads are expected to look much like any video that is hosted on Reddit itself, including all the usual Reddit engagements like shares, comments, and saves.|
|2018||July 18||Product||Reddit launches real-time chatrooms for a handful of subreddits, letting moderators create channels for discussing topics that are as broad or specific as they like.|
|2018||August 1||Security||Reddit informs its users that a hacker broke into some of its systems and gained access to a variety of data, including user emails, source code, internal files, and “all Reddit data from 2007 and before.” The hack is later known to be accomplished by circumventing the two-factor authentication Reddit had in place via SMS interception.|
|2018||September 12||Censorship||Reddit shoots down r/GreatAwakening, one of the most active online hubs for the QAnon conspiracy theory, which details a supposed secret plot by an alleged "deep state" against United States President Donald Trump and his supporters.|
|2019||January 11||Security||In response to a security concern, Reddit blocks access to a large group of accounts, locking some users out and forcing password resets after sighting "unusual activity" on the website.|
|2019||January 30||Product||Reddit launches cost-per-click (CPC) ads, the platform’s first performance-based ad unit, making what it calls its first foray into performance-driven ad bidding. The ads can be bought through the Reddit ad dashboard and are expected to “complete the suite” of Reddit’s ad offerings, along with cost-per-impression (CPM) and cost-per-view (CPV) ads.|
|2019||February 11||Company||Reddit receives US$300 million Series D investment, led by US$ $150 million from Chinese conglomerate Tencent. The deal gives Reddit a market valuation of US$3 billion.|
|2019||March 15||Censorship||Following the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zeland, Reddit bans /r/watchpeopledie and /r/gore in order to prevent sharing videos of the tragedy, an action that violates Reddit’s terms of service.|
|2019||June 26||Censorship||Reddit quarantines subreddit r/The_Donald, a 750,000 subscribers strong online forum, popular among President Donald Trump supporters, as a response to some users having apparently encouraged violence against law enforcement. The quarantine restricts the board from generating revenue and limits its popular posts from reaching an audience in other parts of Reddit.|
|2019||July 11||Community||Reddit stops working for thousands of users, with some of them receiving an error message that says "Our CDN was unable to reach our servers" and others failing to load and receiving a 503 gateway error.|
|2019||July 24||Product||Reddit launches a new feature called Community Awards, which consists of new Reddit Gold-style medals that subreddits can design for themselves, and can be awarded to users and displayed next to their username on the subreddit. The new featureaims to encourage healthier conversation.|
|2019||August 19||Product||Reddit announces Reddit Public Access Network (r/pan), a weeklong experiment, in which users can post livestream videos as well as vote them up or down.|
|2019||September||Statistics||As of date, Reddit is the 5th most visited site in the United States. IT has 330 million monthly users, over 130,000 active communities, and 21 billion average screenviews per month.|
Meta information on the timeline
How the timeline was built
The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Issa.
Funding information for this timeline is available.
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