Spotlight Q&A: How Reddit’s commitment to community and transparency drives advertising success for user-generated content

March 4, 2021 | 4 minute read
Mark Kopera
Head of Product, Oracle Moat
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While other mainstream social media networks might get more airtime when it comes to internet virality, the power of Reddit’s passionate audience cannot be denied, especially after its role in recent Wall Street events.

Following the announcement of an integration with Moat by Oracle to provide 3rd party verification to ads on the platform, we took some time to talk with Jack Koch, Reddit’s Global Head of Marketing Sciences.

Read on as Jack talks about the role of Reddit in a year marked by social distancing, the importance of transparency and brand safety in a world filled with user-generated content, and the exciting ways in which online communities are shaping real-world culture and conversations.

Oracle: How has Reddit seen consumer behavior shift over the past year on the platform?

Jack: Online community has long been on the rise, but it has proven its worth in a whole new way over the last 12 months. We’ve seen more and more people flock to the platform for connection, distraction, and information in times of unprecedented physical disconnection. While the physical world has been constrained in so many ways, the online world has emerged as more crucial than ever for so many.

On Reddit, during the early stages of the pandemic, we observed user behavior shift from fear to information gathering, with traffic surges to communities like r/coronavirus and r/askscience. This quickly evolved into “settling in” to a new normal at home, which also brought about surges to communities such as r/homeschool, r/askculinary, r/television, and even r/malegrooming.

As summer began, we witnessed the emotions of social justice being discussed and documented within our communities, and as the country went through one of the most decisive elections of recent times, we saw Reddit provide a home for honest conversation and discourse.

More recently, we’ve seen creative pursuits thriving on Reddit, in spite of the ongoing pandemic, with communities like r/getmotivated, r/lifeprotips, and r/homegyms providing advice and inspiration to more and more users doubling down on their lives at home. Amid all of this change, the conversations, connection, and companionship happening within online communities have emerged as a reflection and indicator of real-world sentiment.

Oracle: In today’s climate, there’s no shortage of controversial or sensitive information. How does Reddit maintain authenticity on the platform while monitoring nefarious activity?

Jack: Reddit’s mission is to help everyone in the world find community and belonging, and this means building online communities that respect healthy discourse and human dignity—and that reflect our company values.

Our content policy makes very clear that hate, harassment, and calls for violence are not allowed on Reddit. User and brand safety is built into our platform structure and is something we take really seriously. It’s reflected in our unique multilayered approach to moderation, which includes tools, systems, and teams to ensure the safety of our users, moderators, and advertisers.

Authenticity is core to our DNA, and it’s one of the cornerstones of online community, so it’s inherent in the platform. We’re proud to have built an environment that champions authentic interactions, built around shared passions and interests, and that puts user and advertiser safety at the fore.

Oracle: How can increased transparency and accountability help advertisers feel confident about investing in platforms that are centered around user-generated content?

Jack: The world of user-generated content is by nature unpredictable, and we understand that advertisers have varying degrees of comfort when it comes to the content their ads appear adjacent to. Reddit is home to many types of advertisers, all with their own campaign objectives. We’re committed to providing increased choice and control to advertisers, based on these individual needs, because this ultimately leads to increased confidence.

We launched Inventory Types last year to provide advertisers more flexibility, choice, and control based on their brand safety requirements and targeting goals—this includes our Expanded Inventory offering for those wanting access to Reddit’s broadest range of content, and our Limited Inventory offering, in partnership with Oracle Advertising, which provides the strictest brand safety measures with a lower, more controlled reach through an added layer of 3rd party verification. Regardless of the tier, Reddit’s strict platform, community, and campaign moderation system is foundational and applies to all Inventory Types; and as always, ads on Reddit can only appear in communities on our hand-curated allow list.

Oracle: Reddit and Oracle Advertising recently joined forces on another collaboration, this time bringing 3rd party verification to Reddit ads. How does this latest integration help advertisers?

Jack: Third-party verification is a critically important part of campaign measurement, and we’re thrilled to now be able to offer an added layer of transparency around the reach and awareness of Reddit ads, thanks to our recent collaboration with Moat by Oracle. Again, it’s part of our ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of our advertisers. Ultimately, we want all Reddit advertisers to feel satisfied with their investment in Reddit, and this integration with Moat helps to do so by providing an independent report on the viewability and reach of their Reddit ads.

Oracle: What’s next on the horizon for Reddit? Which trends do you think will shape digital advertising and the way we engage online in 2021?

Jack: We’re so excited about this year; it’s set to be another transformative one for Reddit. I think we can all agree that online community has emerged in recent months as a valuable driver of real-world impact and action. I’m excited that more and more people are starting to see what we’ve long known to be true: that there’s real value in online communities shaping real-world culture and conversation, and I expect this to only grow from here.

At Reddit, we’re focused on delivering our mission of bringing community and belonging to everyone in the world. We remain committed to building out our user base, both here and internationally, through best-in-class product innovation and features, and continuing to build out our Ads business so that even more brands can connect with the internet’s most passionate audiences.

 

Learn more about how to protect your campaigns from IVT and ad fraud:

Mark Kopera

Head of Product, Oracle Moat


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