Reddit, the internet’s portal into virality, needs a table of contents — and it’s getting one, with the site’s first curated email newsletter.
The new email newsletter will go out to users every Sunday and will be curated by staffers to help surface stories that might otherwise get lost in one of the thousands of communities, which are called subreddits. The social news site announced the launch on Tuesday.
The newsletter, called Upvoted Weekly, comes three months after Reddit debuted its first podcast, also called Upvoted, which follows up with the people behind the big stories popping on Reddit.
The move may help Reddit to take more ownership of the viral content that users post, which ranges from the inspiring to cute cats to gross fast food stories. It also helps fend off curatorial competitors like Tumblr, which is competing for Reddit’s “front page of the Internet” status.
“Content surfaced and created by redditors sets the global agenda every day,” Alexis Ohanian, cofounder and executive chairman of Reddit, told Mashable. “This new approach is another example of getting in front of new audiences while re-engaging existing ones via new channels.”
The subtext to that statement: Reddit is often a go-to source for media outlets (including this one) to discover viral Internet stories and occasional news, but some of those publications arguably end up profiting more from content that first surfaced on Reddit than Reddit itself does.
Part of the reason for Reddit getting cut out of the viral publishing game as a middleman is that the site is more chaotic and difficult for new and even some existing users to navigate, leaving an opening for other publications fill the void.
Ohanian hinted at this problem in an interview with Mashable late last year: “We need to do a better job with things like mod tools and discovery… It’s a failure of UX that so many people don’t even understand how reddit works.”
Ohanian rejoined Reddit full-time as executive chairman in November after CEO Yishan Wong abruptly resigned following a dispute over office space.
Since then, Ohanian has used the credibility that comes from being cofounder of Reddit to crack down on nude images, work toward building safer communities and push for better discovery — all of which could make Reddit just a little more approachable as it vies for the mainstream.