Reddit Goes Open Source With Their Code

RedditSocial news aggregator Reddit is making a big announcement today. They have decided to open source the Reddit code. I spoke with Steve Huffman to learn more about the announcement and grab some of the latest stats from Reddit. The open source license matches the one Facebook is now using for some of their code.

He says that open sourcing the Reddit code is the next step in the transparency of media that Reddit strives for. It’s also a way for Reddit to give back to the open source community. Steve noted that they are the only one of their peers offering their code under an open source license. He also said that Digg struggles with transparency.

I immediately asked if the “secret sauce” would be part of the code. The idea we can review the code and figure out how to hit the Reddit front page seemed possible. Steve explained that certain key parts of the secret sauce won’t be released.

I also asked about developer manuals and guides – something that is important when reviewing another’s code. At this point there are guides but they are a work in progress.

As for the latest stats, Steve shared the following on our call: 4+ million unique visitors a month 120 million pageviews a month 2,200 user-created reddits (including the custom tech reddit run by some of the top tech bloggers) 23% of registrations are coming from the user-generated reddits politics and technology are the strongest categories entertainment is the fastest growing category

I also asked for U.S./non-U.S. traffic on Reddit and Steve shared that nearly 45% of traffic on Reddit comes from outside the U.S.

Will this announcement today help Reddit gain more marketshare against Digg and potentially against newcomer Yahoo Buzz? It should certainly get the developer crowd talking and hacking. Reddit needs to make sure they promote this to all of the applicable sites in the Conde Nast portfolio. Whether it will drive more traffic and users to Reddit, we will need to wait and see.