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Promoted User Posts: Reddit’s Latest Ad Format

3 MINUTE READ | August 2, 2016

Promoted User Posts: Reddit’s Latest Ad Format

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Brian Edwards

Brian Edwards has written this article. More details coming soon.

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   You down with UGC? Yeah, you know me!   

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Not me literally, but that’s what some advertisers might soon be saying thanks to a new ad format being rolled out on Reddit. Unfamiliar with Reddit? Well, it’s a popular timesuck “news source” letting users from all over the world share news stories, random tidbits, and pretty much any and everything in between, through a variety of categories called Subreddits.

Reddit announced today that the ad slot previously confined to the top of a category page, similar to a pinned post, is now available for brand sponsorship.

“…a new type of advertisement that we’re calling Promoted User Posts. This will essentially let an advertiser identify an organic post that they find especially relevant to their brand or product, and promote that in the Sponsored unit you guys are already used to.”

How it works:

  • A redditor creates a post with brand-relevant content

  • A brand notices the post and indicates to our sales team that they’re interested in promoting the post

  • Our sales team reaches out to the author of the post to get explicit permission to use the post as part of a promoted user post

  • If permission is given, a promoted user post is created by copying over the content and votes of the original post into a new promoted user post. (The comments will link to the same thread.)

  • The original post will remain where it was originally uploaded. The promoted user post comment section will link to the original comments section. See this example for details.

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The reality is advertisers and publishers are constantly looking for ways to make ads less invasive while reaching more audiences than ever before. Due to the user generated nature of this ad format, it is likely to fall outside of standard brand practices since it’s practically impossible to control 100% of the message. However, as ad formats continue to evolve, it will be interesting to see what brands latch on to this – especially those brands with highly engaged user bases. If done correctly, I can see the engagement rates for ads of this nature beating out other contextual ad types, or performing similarly to native ads since the content is already aligned with users interests. At this time there doesn’t appear to be any additional details or pricing, but with this feature rolling out August 4th, we shouldn’t have to wait long to find out more.