Reddit is having an exceptionally exciting start to the year, with plans to go public and a new deal with Google under their belt. Now, the company has proposed an initial public offering of its stock. Some of its top users, including moderators and those with high karma scores, will have the chance to buy shares in Reddit’s IPO.

In an unusual proposition, the social network forum has reserved 1.3 million shares of its Class A common stock to ‘fund community-related programs that empower Redditors to bring their ideas to life.’

Although the number of people who will be offered this opportunity isn’t yet known, the shares will be allocated through a tiered system. ‘Certain users and moderators identified by us who have meaningfully contributed to Reddit community programs,’ will be amongst those in the first tier.

Following this, people with a karma score of at least 2,000 and those who have performed at least 5,000 moderator actions will also be invited to buy shares before they go on the public market.

The platform’s business goals and finances were shared on Thursday (Feb. 22) when the S-1 registration statement was filed. The CEO Steve Huffman says in the filing: “We have many opportunities to grow both the platform and the business, the latter through advertising, monetizing commerce on the platform, and licensing data…

“As the world becomes increasingly data-driven, we offer solutions that are human and experience-focused.

“We expect our data advantage and intellectual property to continue to be a key element in the training of future LLMs.”

Reactions from users

While a user who has been offered to purchase shares hasn’t yet spoken publicly, there are concerns amongst general users ahead of new plans. There are worries the move to becoming public will change the website. The BBC reports an opinion from a forum-loving fan: “When the most important customers shift from [users] to shareholders, the product always [suffers].

“It becomes ‘what can we do this quarter to squeak out an additional point of revenue,’ instead of ‘how can we make this product better’.”

Featured image: Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Sophie Atkinson

Freelance Writer

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business, marketing, and finance.

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