It comes as a surprise that a web site as popular as Reddit, with 174 million regular monthly users, has not had an accompanying mobile app until recently, Wednesday to be precise.
The number of Reddit users is growing, 60 million new users in just a few months, but smartphone users had to access it through various third-party apps. This has now changed, after the company announced it had bought Alien Blue, which is unsurprisingly the most popular third-party app for iPhones and iPads used for browsing Reddit. The app will now be offered as the official Redit app in Apple’s App Store.
Jason Morrissey, the developer and owner will now work for Reddit, although he has unofficially collaborated with the company for more than a year. Ellen Pao, the head of partnerships and strategic development and Reddit recently told interviewers “With Alien Blue and Jase, it was getting to a point where it was too much work for one person. He was helping us, we were helping him and the fit was really strong.” Reddit wants to offer its users new features for their mobiles that would work faster and better. The terms of the purchase will remain a secret, as will Alien Blue’s mobile traffic numbers.
The reason why Reddit has remained without an accompanying mobile app is that it has been running on a tight budget for several years, thus no resources had been allocated for building a mobile app in-house. Not owning a mobile means Reddit has failed to cash in on significant income.
Now, following a recent support from ventures funds, Reddit wants to improve its ability to sell ads on its website and its newly acquired mobile app. According to Ms. Pao, there will be no ads on the Alien Blue app for some time, but the company could introduce ads after conducting tests. The new Alien Blue app will be free to download, users will only have to pay for feature upgrades.