While Reddit has previously had a “Gold Site” for paying customers, they’ve never promoted it until now. Probably because they suddenly acquired a taste for diamond-encrusted monster trucks dipped in platinum. And do you know how they pull all this off? First they explain about how many people are freeloading their content each month (3.8 billion page views from 46mm unique visitors!). Then they threaten people with the concept of ads only so they can seem benevolent by saving Reddit users by charging them outright instead (Hey, we’re being cool by not stuffing ads down your throat — can you just give us money?) Oh, but they give you “stuff” if you pony up, such as special comment privileges (like the ability to outline good comments in gold — a process they unironically call gilding), and also comment saving and filtering saves by Reddit. Two words: screen grabs. I just saved myself $14.95 a month (or whatever they intend to charge).
Now I would have been just fine with all of this (a person’s got to eat, right?), but then they did that one thing that, you know, really slays me: right after the couple of bullshit “benefits” they offer, we get a one-two punch of comedy to fill out the list. “Some upgrades and fun stuff in the members-only lounge that may or may not exist.” and “We might add a remote-controlled office robot you can drive. Under construction.” Great, Reddit, great. You really sold me. Even if they aren’t joking, they’d be better off playing this whole notion like they were.
Finally, their press release has the scummy-uncle line, “Reddit is talking to some companies “to provide special perks or access to stuff for gold members.” Eww. How small-time does that sound? I might be able to get you a ham sandwich if you show me your boobs. Pass.
Reddit, the best advice I can give you is this: Live on your mom’s couch to survive, charge the suckers if you must, but for God’s sake, hire a new PR person. This kind of shit would fly at 9gag, but you’re Reddit; you’re supposed to be better than this.
Because NMR has bills to pay too, I’ve decided we have a VIP section now also. So for all our dues-paying readers, here is some exclusive “premium bonus content” I wrote that didn’t work in the construct of the original article. Kind of a behind-the-scenes peek for you “true believers.” Remember! Only read this if you’ve paid the dues:
“Oh man, cuz so many of you have been bogarting our content and not chipping in gas money, we need to figure out a revenue stream, like pronto” (my impression of the Reddit programmers, even if it is based on an outdated cliche of a 1980’s movie jock).