The Foreign Country That Is Reddit Explained And Why The Protest From Third-Party Developers Is Old News

When you travel, every time you tap on your phone to pull up those nifty electronic boarding passes, confirm hotel reservations, arrange transportation from the airport, or check credit lines you are relying on third-party apps.

The same business model applies to Reddit, the nation’s ninth most popular social media platform. It doesn’t offer its users access to free and paid apps through its third-party app store.

Reddit offloads that heavy lifting to App Store and Google Play on mobile and Microsoft Store on desktop. Third-party apps on Reddit let you browse Reddit with a different interface and features than the official Reddit app or website.

Threading The Needle On Third-Party Apps

Deck for Reddit, Reddup, Reddit Favorites, Updoot, Infinity for Reddit, and Apollo dramatically improve on Reddit’s original user interface which millions of users agree is outdated, cluttered, and difficult to navigate.

Meanwhile, roughly 100,000 community forums, each dedicated to a clearly-defined topic provide the stage for users to post and debate about them.

They are branded as Subreddits, which are created by Reddit users like user-driven groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. One of the 3 million Subreddits, called r/badUIbattles is where registered Reddit members or  “Redditors” gather together to create horrendous interfaces. They feature reCAPTCHAs that are used to protect websites from spam and abuse. These reimagined CAPTCHAs are as impossible to solve by humans as they are for the bots they are targeting.

Reddit As A Second Language

Reddit’s language refers to the slang, abbreviations, acronyms, memes, and jokes used by Reddit users like TL;DR: Too long; didn’t read or ELI5: Explain like I’m five, a post or comment where a user asks for a simple explanation of a complex topic like Business Intelligence Weekly is doing right now.

The reason why this platform is so difficult to wrap your arms around it is because it is confusing by design. It can be like entering a foreign country to navigate if you are an outsider because it has its language, culture, and humor.

But for the fluent 430 million Reddit natives, that’s what makes it special.

Perception Isn’t Always Reality

Ironically, perhaps because it is so obtuse and edgy, Reddit generated over $300 million in advertising in 2022, monetizing 52 million daily active users and over 30 billion monthly views from 25% of US adults.

You might be tempted to conclude that this social media platform attracts only piercing and tattoo-bearing Gen Z or millennials but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

According to a survey by Pew Research Center in 2019, only 22% are 18-29 while 15% are aged 30-49 with a third of them commanding annual incomes of $75,000 or more. It’s also fairly equally divided between liberals and conservatives so Reddit is strategically positioned to be a major benefactor of political advertising in the 60th presidential election in November 2024.

Protest In Peak Hype Cycle Is Over

Concerning the debate between third-party app developers and Reddit which is just trying to make money and be sustainable by charging them for access to its data, there’s not much to it.

The protest is a lot of sound and fury, signifying not much at all. When the dust settles, the handful of top-performing apps that it applies to will, kick aside the soapbox and pay-to-play.

SWOT Report is now Business Intelligence Weekly. The creator and journalist behind the digital publication, Andrew Ellenberg, is President & Managing Partner of Rise Integrated, an innovative studio that creates, produces, and distributes original multimedia content across digital touchpoints. To submit story ideas or ask about custom multimedia publishing, call 816-506-1257, email [email protected], or read more of his work in Forbes. To learn about his company check out this profile story.