How Growth Helps Reddit Get 430 Million Active Users Every Month

Sep 29, 2020 10:12:41 AM
Author: Kieran Flanagan

In this episode of the GrowthTLDR, we talk to Vaibhav Sahgal, the head of growth at Reddit.

Reddit is one of the most popular websites on the internet, with 430 million monthly active users. During Vaibhav's time as head of growth, he has seen the team grow from 5 to over 60 people.

We talk to Vaibhav about the structure of the growth team and the metrics they're accountable too. We get into the first big win the growth team had at Reddit, how the team grew to over 60 people, and Vaibhav walks us through some of the latest successes the team has had.

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Time Stamped Notes

[1:45] - Over the past three years, the Reddit growth team has grown from five people to over sixty. It's a cross-functional team that includes PMs, engineers, designers. 

The growth team is broken out across - user onboarding (new, retention), SEO, International, Channels (push notifications, and email).

Vaibhav sees the mission of the growth team to connect existing product value to users. They don't create new product value; that's the role of a product team.

[4:10] - The first big win for the growth team at Reddit was push notifications. Vaibhav and the team worked to improve the relevance of push notifications for their users, which significantly impacted traffic.

[5:40] - The first Reddit growth team was very technical; it was mostly engineers.

[6:40] - The first thing Vaibhav did when joining the growth team is to build a model. Vaibhav learned from doing that exercise that there were many opportunities across Reddit's user journey for big wins. It helped Vaibhav identify areas they could invest in, and expand the growth team's responsibilities too. 

[9:00] - To improve Reddit's performance in Google, the growth team focused on - image and video SEO, better organization, and categorization of content, so Google spent more timing crawling the website's best content.

[11:10] - The growth team is broken out into smaller, autonomous teams. Having small autonomous teams helps Reddit's growth team to move faster and remain scrappy in how they do their work.

[12:55] - Vaibhav talks about how the Reddit product team makes decisions that might be good for the business, but not for the user. The product team at Reddit isn't only focused on their power users; they want to build a fantastic experience for their casual users. 

Vaibhav recommends having a set of principles that guide how you build the product and to not deviate from them no matter what the metrics say.

[19:10] - The Reddit growth team is motivated by learning, and better introducing more users to the value of the Reddit product.

[22:50] - Vaibhav walks us through how the Reddit growth team ends up taking on new projects. One experiment the team ran was to allow users to signup and login to Reddit via Google. Adding that feature increased logins and signups by 3X. 

As a result, Reddit will invest in an identity team to continue making both signup and login easier.

[26:00] - The problems Reddit's growth team invests in to solve are quite broad, so they don't generally have an end date. Vaibhav feels there are always improvements the team can make in their given area.

[28:30] - Vaibhav talks about how individual growth teams keep aligned with a shared sets of frameworks and processes. 

[30:45] - We talk to Vaibhav about some of the best wins the growth team had at Reddit. One of their recent big wins was to make better use of email. The team invested in a Quora style newsletter highlighting content users would find most relevant to them. The team's vision for email is something like Morningbrew.

Another big win the Reddit team had was emailing you content based on the previous content you had engaged with vs. what you had subscribed too.

– Vaibhav on LinkedIn
– Kieran on Twitter / LinkedIn
– Scott on Twitter / LinkedIn

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