Podcast: Why social media is all about community now – with Reddit’s Paul Peterman

Podcast: Why social media is all about community now – with Reddit’s Paul Peterman
The Media Leader Podcast

Like other social media companies, Reddit has made big changes over the past few years as it seeks to become a more attractive digital platform for advertisers. These include a redesign in 2018, changes to its API last summer and a broader focus on sharing video content. A subset of Reddit users has at times decried such changes, even as they make Reddit a more commercially viable platform.

Much like TikTok and Pinterest, Reddit is billing itself as the place for communities to form online. The old saying goes that there is pretty much a subreddit for anything you could imagine, from the Premier League to celebrity gossip to global news. That also includes unseemly topics, for which Reddit tackles using volunteer community moderation.

Reddit says it can offer opportunity for brands looking to reach audiences in ways that are often hard to find elsewhere. Gamers and tech enthusiasts, for example, go to the platform for news, product recommendations and crowd-sourced knowledge.

Paul Peterman, Reddit’s senior managing director, large customer sales, North America, joined host Jack Benjamin to discuss the future of the platform, its usefulness to advertisers attempting to reach niche communities and whether changes made to please advertisers risk alienating its existing user base.

“If traditional social media is people you know really well talking about things that you may not care that much about, then community is people that maybe you don’t know talking about things you care deeply about,” said Peterman.

Listen below or hit subscribe to play the episode on your choice of podcast player:


3:22: Impressions of CES

5:29: Why Reddit sees itself as a “community of communities” as opposed to a more traditional social media

9:14: How should marketers target hard-to-reach audiences like gamers?

18:01: The relationship between AI and Reddit communities

20:48: Reddit’s embracing of the ad community and its relationship with users

23:31: Reddit’s content moderation strategy

27:10: The transitioning of social media from “me” to “we”

This episode was edited by our production partner Trisonic

The Media Leader Podcast is a twice weekly show in which our journalists interview some of the most influential people in advertising and media, as well as the next generation of future leaders and rising stars. We also review the biggest stories in media and discuss our featured columnists’ latest opinion pieces.

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