The secret to reddit's early growth? Fake accounts

No one wants to join a community site with no members, so what do you do to make it more attractive to new users when you're building from the ground up? Simple, do what the founders of reddit did: fake it.

According to co-founder Steve Huffman, the early days of reddit were defined by fast growth thanks to fake accounts set up by none other than Huffman himself and Alexis Ohanian, the other co-founder. “That did two things,” Huffman said in a video for the educational site Udacity. “It set the tone... and it made the site feel alive.” That's right – you have the founders of reddit themselves to thank for the quirky, rebellious, and sometimes just plain weird spirit that defines the most powerful site on the internet.

Of course, this is made all the more ironic by the fact that reddit recently cracked down on websites trying to game their way into the site's top links. But since it's not going on any more, we'll give 'em a pass on this one; after all, it was all part of making a new product attractive, right? Check out Huffman's video below, it's pretty interesting. Oh, and don't forget to let us know what you think, either.

Source: Ars Technica | YouTube

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Everyone of those websites does it. 9gag has dozens of fake accounts making "funny" posts everyday ripped off of other websites. It's just about the money of ads for them.

Renvy said,
Everyone of those websites does it. 9gag has dozens of fake accounts making "funny" posts everyday ripped off of other websites. It's just about the money of ads for them.

Okay.

It was the right thing to do!
If someone went to a site that was empty, they'd either think:
- No one's here, what's the point?
or - I'm crowd shy, I don't want to be the first!

By generating site content, albeit being fake, it gave it that lively feel.

All kinds of sites due them. I do it as well only because it's usually the most popular way to gain attraction when people want to interact with each other.

Only the biggest companies are able to start a site at 0 users knowing all it takes is 1 advertisement and a million are there the next day. *cough* Google

Done in a proper American way - lies and deception.
The government, the legal system, the corporate system, the banking system, the internet ... no difference, all based on the same principles - lies and deception.

Stelex said,
Done in a proper American way - lies and deception.
The government, the legal system, the corporate system, the banking system, the internet ... no difference, all based on the same principles - lies and deception.

I have a feeling that is humanity's way. Saying it is the American way is stretching things greatly.

Morden said,
maybe Google should do the same with G+... or did but did not made any difference

I gave up on G+, don't find the time to update it!

Morden said,
maybe Google should do the same with G+... or did but did not made any difference

should? how else do you think they inflate their numbers lol. they are experts at this.

Right now, Facebook is doing it the same.

For example. According Facebook, US has 158m users, while the US population is 318m.

Then Facebook is saying that 1 out of 2 american is using Facebook.

However, the percentage of americans that have access to internet (and uses it) is way less than 20% or 30% (too old, too young, too poor or people that don't care).

Brony said,
Right now, Facebook is doing it the same.

For example. According Facebook, US has 158m users, while the US population is 318m.

Then Facebook is saying that 1 out of 2 american is using Facebook.

However, the percentage of americans that have access to internet (and uses it) is way less than 20% or 30% (too old, too young, too poor or people that don't care).

your stats are bogus because:
neglect mobile access which is a popular way to access facebook.
neglects people who may access facebook at work or via cafes or some other public internet method such as school/college.

in other words, you're just trying to spin facts but the argument doesn't hold.

well that's what google is doing exactly. anybody who has used google + knows that it is a ghosttown yet it somehow has hundreds of millions of users...yeah right google.

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