Reddit may go public by 2020, said CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman during a keynote conversation at the Internet Association’s Virtuous Circle Summit on Monday. “The time frame is pretty far out,” he admitted. However, he also argued that going public was inevitable for Reddit to both reward employees and investors, calling it “the only responsible choice” for the company.
Huffman co-founded Reddit in 2005, and sold it to Conde Nast in 2006. On Monday, Huffman credited the magazine publisher with saving Reddit at the time: “When we sold the company, we were only four people. And we were fairly dysfunctional.” However, he also said Reddit couldn’t have grown to where it is now if it had stayed within Conde Nast, in part because of the need to give equity to employees.
Throughout this evolution, Reddit has also changed its position on producing media on its own. At one point, the company was looking to produce original editorial content, and even launched its own news site called Upvoted — only to shutter it soon after. “We shut that down to focus on our core product,” Huffman said.
Ultimately, the company realized that others were better at producing media. “That’s just really not in our DNA,” he said.
Instead, Reddit has found success in partnering with media organizations, and has also gotten a lot of interest from Hollywood, he said. For instance, Netflix advertised on Reddit, asking users to review one of its shows, and promising them Reddit rewards in return. “Our largest advertisers are largely in the entertainment space,” Huffman said.