Online community Reddit, which calls itself "the front page of the Internet," has launched a mobile
app for its popular "Ask Me Anything" feature. The app lets users follow current AMA interviews, submit questions to live discussions, vote questions up or down and browse past interviews.
Some of Reddit's top AMA interview subjects have included President Obama, naturalist Sir David Attenborough, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Bill Nye "the Science Guy," astronaut Buzz Aldrin and actor Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister on "Game of Thrones." AMAs are not limited to celebrities, but can be with anyone who wants to share information about a unique or uncommon experience; one of Reddit's all-time top interviews, for example, was with Allena Hansen, who survived a bear attack.
The new AMA mobile app for iOS was released Tuesday on Apple's iTunes App Store, where it is available for free. The app for Android is expected to be released later this week, according to a report in Variety.
"We've found in the last year or so a huge uptick in people accessing Reddit from the mobile Web, and we want to give those folks a great experience," Reddit Senior Vice President Ellen Pao told Variety.
'As They Happen' Interactions
We reached out to Victoria Taylor, Reddit's director of communications, to learn more about the new app. She said this was the company's first official app for Reddit AMA.
"We want this app to be something that everyone -- whether they're experienced Redditors, or new to the platform -- can utilize to interact with AMAs as they happen," Taylor said in an e-mail.
Reddit's "subReddit" community for AMAs currently has more than 6 million subscribers, so there's a large and ready audience for the new mobile app. However, "Redditors" who want to use other features of the site do not yet have an official company app for doing so, but must rely on third-party apps like Alien Blue.
"The AMA App is a step in the right direction but still not what I was after," one user posted today on Reddit's Redditmobile section. "Can't wait for the Official Reddit App."
App Could Drive Ad Revenues
While Reddit's new mobile app is available for free, Variety reported that it "could help monetization by providing a forum for native advertising."
Founded in 2005, Reddit was owned for several years by Condé Nast and then by Condé Nast's parent company, Advance Publications. It reincorporated as an independent company in 2012. According to financial data it released in 2013, the company is not yet profitable.
Based in San Francisco, Reddit reported more than 114 million unique visitors from around the world in June 2014, and currently has more than 7,800 active communities. While Redditors can use the site for free, the company offers a premium Gold service for $3.99 per month that offers additional features such as notifications when users are mentioned in comments and the option of switching off online ads.