Reddit shares its daily user figures for the first time

The site is about a third of Twitter's size, but it's still big.

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KRAKOW, POLAND - 2019/02/10:  In this photo illustration, the Reddit logo is seen displayed on an Android mobile phone. (Photo Illustration by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Reddit likes to pitch itself as the “front page of the internet,” but how popular is it, really? We now know. The company has revealed its daily active users for the first time, telling the Wall Street Journal that it had 52 million daily active users in October 2020. That’s a 44 percent jump from a year earlier, the community-driven site said.

The company has remained secretive about its numbers in the past, but was sharing them to provide a “more accurate reflection” of its growth and fall in line with typical industry practices, according to operating chief Jen Wong.

The site’s audience is small relative to the largest social networks. Twitter had 187 million daily users as of last quarter, while Facebook has over 1.82 billion. That figure is still large, though, and Wong was keen to point out that ad revenue is poised to jump 70 percent in 2020 despite volatility from the COVID-19 pandemic. Reddit is growing quickly, and the potential is large.

The challenge, as is often the case for Reddit, is to make both advertisers and users feel welcome. Reddit has spent more and more of its energy banning subreddits for hate speech and threats. Critics have argued that this stifles freedom of expression, but marketers have sometimes steered clear of Reddit precisely because they don’t want to be associated with toxic communities. Reddit has tools to make those advertisers feel more at home, but it might have to strike a careful balance if it’s going to keep growing.

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