“Fads, trends and movements get their start in Reddit communities every day,” the company said in its announcement about the new ad on Monday. “And as we invest in highlighting those trends for user visibility and participation, it presents a huge opportunity for advertisers looking to align with conversations in real-time.”
Brands might be able to buy their way into the trends, but it will be harder to make users care about those trends, according to Azher Ahmed, EVP and director of digital at DDB. “Obviously, it’s worked for Twitter,” Ahmed says, adding that “the Reddit community rejects inauthenticity, so it’ll be interesting to see how it pans out.”
Reddit has implemented similar ad formats in smart ways, Ahmed says. For instance, Reddit has “Promoted User Posts,” which it launched about three years ago. Brands can pay to promote the posts of influential users if the post is relevant to their products and the user gives permission.