Reddit COO Jen Wong on the State of the Platform at CES 2021
Regardless of where in the world something happens, you can be sure that it will also happen on Reddit, one of the most popular sites in internet history – and one that continues to grow and evolve. Andre Stone and Ariana Escalante spoke to Jen Wong, Reddit’s chief operating officer and CES 2021 panelist, as part of Digital Trends’ extensive coverage of this year’s show.
“2020 showed us what was really special about the core of Reddit,” says Wong. “People come to the churches they trust to be informed about the most important decisions and things that are important to them. And the [past] Year there was a lot to worry about “What that really showed is that” online communities are a critical part of the future “.
And in times of constant change, Reddit’s format shines, she says. Since content is user-generated, it can react instantly and adapt to all events in the world. Reddit is also formatted to have various “subreddits” on specific topics, from baking to breaking political news to favorite TV shows. “Personally, I spend a lot of time on the food boards,” says Wong, referring to some of the hobbies she picked up during the quarantine, like making sourdough bread and pizza.
So what’s in store in 2021? Wong says a few interesting things are changing. “One thing that happened this year is strangers hanging out. We saw that a lot on Reddit, ”she said. Site users meet, chat, and share various subreddits, and at the end of the day, it’s just about their lives. “That kind of real-time hang-out experience was a behavior we saw,” she added.
Last year at CES, Wong encouraged brands to grow by focusing on love. Has that message even changed in the last year? “I’m still in the same place,” she says. “The most positive and heartwarming things that happened on Reddit in the past year have been people helping people.”
Wong notes that CES 2021 is different this year and she will miss being there in person to build and develop more relationships, but the heart of the show is still growing. Over the past year, “we have seen humanity emerge day by day and minute by minute [on Reddit]. And at the heart of it was still love, ”she said.