Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Announces Reddit Video At Disrupt NY

Reddit has been at the forefront of connecting users with interesting content for years now, but to date most of its efforts have been around just making it easier for its community to share things they’ve found elsewhere. Today, however, it took steps toward creating its own content with the launch of Reddit Video.

At Disrupt NY today, Ohanian showed a brief clip of the new product while in discussion with TechCrunch co-editor Alexia Tsotsis. To start, it will focus mostly on translating the site’s popular “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) interview format to video.

Reddit has already had AMAs with a number of celebrities, politicians, athletes and other public figures, but there are still a number of high profile interviewees Ohanian would like to participate. Ohanian mentioned that he’d like to have Jay-z and Beyonce do AMAs, as well as Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Also the pope, he said.

While Reddit has become huge over the last few years, its status as the “front page of the Internet” wasn’t always assured. For a while the site competed with Kevin Rose’s Digg for that role.

One of the reasons Reddit succeeded while Digg failed, according to Ohanian, is the fact that it wasn’t simply set up as a single community to showcase all the hottest new things on the Internet. Instead, it was founded as a platform for various different communities.

“The one thing we got right is that we knew we were a platform for communities,” Ohanian said. “Digg was always one community…The inevitability we saw was that there would be fewer people who would come to that one front page.”

While Ohanian says he only met Kevin Rose once, at a South by Southwest party “many moons ago,” he mentioned a video clip he had seen of a Diggnation event, in which a user threw a Reddit t-shirt onstage and Rose blew his nose on it before tossing it aside.

In the wake of The Fappening, in which a group of private celebrity photos were dumped on anonymous sharing site 4Chan and later on Reddit, Ohanian said he and the team wanted to use the event as an opportunity to take a stand against revenge porn. The company updated its privacy policy to protect against similar events happening in the future, a move which he noted was followed by other communities, like Twitter.

While events like that seem unavoidable, Ohanian stressed an optimistic view on how users interact on Reddit and other social sites. “I believe the vast majority of time, the vast majority of people using these platforms are good,” he said.

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