The In Crowd

Reddit
[ adweek.com ]
Reddit co-founder and returning CEO Steve Huffman has vowed to make Reddit more accessible to new users with features to help them navigate the labyrinthine forum. The question is – will current Reddit users embrace this new open feel to the niche community? The idea of openness or going mainstream feels like a desirable progression for brands – this is how many brands would measure how successful they have become and whether they had “made it”. However, for online communities which have built their following through quirky content and a sense of being in the know like Reddit, losing that sense of exclusivity may well cost the site much of its allure. We have seen this before with Facebook, a prime example of what can happen once a community becomes open to all.  As the average user has become increasingly older and the site is no longer the reserve of the savvy younger crowd, Facebook has lost the feel of being a cool place to share and communicate with your friends and become more of a functional tool. Once everyone (including your grandma) was on Facebook there was no sense of being in the in crowd. Interestingly, we can see this desire to be in the know in wider culture, with an influx of hidden bars and secret events: people love to feel like they are part of something exclusive. It seems that there is something innately alluring about being part of something which is slightly difficult to access. Although it is great to make content accessible to the masses, in order to maintain their character as a brand it seems that Reddit will need to hang on to t defining sense of obscurity that got their original fans hooked in the first place.

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