Social-sharing site Reddit has announced the addition of new benefits for Gold members as part of its efforts to further monetize the site without relying on more banner ads. Reddit Gold members now have access to a wide range of offers from the site’s retail partners, ranging from urban gardening accessories seller Urbilis to Goldbely, whose products include edible gold-plated bacon. Reddit is also using its partnership with clothing retailer Uniqlo to launch its “Golden Tikkit” incentive program this week. Once a week, a randomly selected Reddit Gold member will get a private message with 24 hours to claim a prize.
Gold Benefits, which has its own public subreddit, adds more perks to Reddit’s existing Gold Partners program and gives “some real-life benefits” to Reddit Gold, which allows members to use premium features on the site (for example, Reddit Gold members are currently able to try out Reddit’s new multireddits in beta).
Reddit Gold, which costs $4 per month or $30 per year, is often gifted by users to other users who have made especially noteworthy comments. Reddit Gold Benefits may make the program more attractive for Redditors to purchase on their own and help fund Reddit’s massive growth.
In a blog post last November, Reddit CEO Yishan Wong said that the Reddit Gold program was started as an alternative to running more ads in order to fund the server costs needed to handle the influx of traffic, which at that time was up to 3.8 billion pageviews and more than 46 million unique visitors.
The Gold program launched in July 2010, but for the first two years of its existence had a relatively low profile, with Reddit making few promotional efforts. The addition of Gold Benefits, however, is one more step Reddit has taken in the past half-year to monetize the site and fuel its growth while keeping it relatively free of traditional banner ads, therefore helping it preserve its counter-mainstream reputation.