Reddit Launches $1.4 Million Program to Bring Subreddits’ Ideas to Life

Reddit Launches $1.4 Million Program to Bring Subreddits’ Ideas to Life
A BTS billboard in Times Square in New York City. The design was created by BTS fans and chosen in a Reddit-sponsored contest. (Photo: Courtesy of Reddit)

In a blog post on Monday, Reddit expanded its Community Funds pilot with a $US1 (around A$1.4) million budget, guaranteeing that we’ll see more ideas generated in subreddits brought from the social network to the wider world in the near future.

In January, Reddit delighted members of the BTS community, the subreddit r/bangtan, when it funded two billboards dedicated to the South Korean group in Times Square and on Hollywood Boulevard. These weren’t just any ordinary billboards, though. They were created by BTS fans on Reddit, known as ARMY, in a company-sponsored contest, which allowed winners to showcase their love for the boy band on gigantic screens.

The contest — dubbed “Permission to Billboard,” a reference to one of the group’s songs — was one of 13 projects in Reddit’s six-month Community Funds pilot, a program designed to pour money into ideas for projects, events, competitions, and gifts proposed by Reddit communities. Other projects funded in the pilot included a photography competition, comic-creation competition, and a digital conference for history stans. And there’s more to come.

“Sometimes it just takes a little boost to make a great idea come to life, and we want to help communities find that support,” Laura Nestler, Reddit’s vice president of community, said in the post.

The company will begin to accept ideas for potential funding in June. As far as Reddit’s concerned, almost any idea is eligible as long as it aims to “bring people together for inspiration and delight.” Some example ideas provided by the company include online conferences and talks, outdoor festivals, workshops, books, and short films, among others.

Communities can request anywhere from $US1,000 to $US50,000 (around A$1,404 to A$70,205) in funding. While a full list of projects funded in the pilot is not publiclyavailable, Reddit did share the following information about some successful initiatives, which might help interested communities get a better idea of what they can ask for.

  • r/itookapicture: $US5,000 ($7,020) to fund a photography competition
  • r/Comics: $US5,000 ($7,020) for a comic-creation competition
  • r/Random Acts of Amazon: $US5,000 ($7,020) for presents for 25 children who may not have had gifts on Christmas due to financial hardship
  • r/pan: $US5,000 ($7,020) for a nomination-based gifting event for r/pan streamers

According to Reddit, selected grantees will be chosen based on their idea’s creativity, feasibility, and community impact. It will be releasing more information around submissions and guidelines over the next few weeks.

Considering the digital explosions over in the Twitterverse yesterday, I think Reddit’s announcement is a welcome piece of good news in the social media world. At the very least, it seems that this initiative will promote good things on the internet, which we all need a lot more of.


Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.