Is Reddit making an aggressive move into advertising?

Social media company Reddit plans to launch a slew of ad offerings as it aims to draw in ad dollars. According to a  CNBC article, one of the new ad types that Reddit plans to launch is the "top post takeover". This will see branded content appearing on the front page of the website for 24 hours, along with promoted and banner ads at the top and side of the webpage. This ad offering is also extended to a subcategory, also known as "subreddits" by users.

Meanwhile, the social media company is also said to be offering a more targeted approach for advertisers by integrating sponsored content into its forums. Topics will be launched by Reddit in relevant subreddits so ads will reach "the most specific audience possible". Thereafter, the sponsored posts will be extended to other related subreddits, and those that perform best will be extended "more broadly" on Reddit, CNBC reported. To ensure the sponsored posts are placed in appropriate subreddits with the right language used, Reddit's brand strategy team will create "Reddit-friendly" posts.

Brands can also promote on the "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) subreddit page and while AMAs that reside on the brand's Reddit page are not required to be labelled as an ad, they will have to be labelled accordingly once the AMA is promoted by the company elsewhere on Reddit.

The brands will have complete control over the comments that get approved or removed for the AMA, and also have the power to ban users. With regards to brand safety, CNBC reported that advertiser content is placed by Reddit in "white-listed" categories that are deemed safe and has a team monitoring it.

In a conversation with Marketing, Jeffrey Lim, general manager of Carbon Interactive said that the move was an interesting one in which the ads have been incorporated - a combination of conventional web banners, sponsored content combined with targeted audience, keywords or topics.

"As reddit is platform that is about power to a user. Advertisers who are bold and open to any form of comments or feedback will thrive on this platform. Any brands who are looking to be a conversational starter or even solicit reviews might do well on this new offering," he said, adding that it would be interesting to see if this platform would pick up more momentum here in Asia.

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