It's been a busy year at Reddit. Interim CEO Ellen Pao stepped down while fighting a very public legal battle, the site banned some of its most offensive communities — all while a former CEO started leaking secrets. During all this madness, Reddit announced it was launching a video division focused on original content, and now it has finally arrived.
The first videos were published today alongside the debut of Upvoted, its own news site. They are, as was promised in May, video versions of the site's popular "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) series. The first three subjects are astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver, and musician and actress Hilary Duff.
Video AMAs, documentary series, and more
Each video runs somewhere around 10 minutes, and they are presented in a very simple manner. After a brief, documentary-style intro, each AMA subject answers a number of questions while being filmed by a few cameras in a black room. Occasional animated overlays or cuts to other videos help fill in the gaps of the explanation, but the style is not complex. Adding video to the familiar AMA format helps "capture the nuance of each expression; the feeling of every response," according to Reddit.
Reddit's new video efforts are being helmed by two former Verge staffers, Stephen Greenwood and Jordan Oplinger. "Every community and every user has a voice on Reddit; we’re excited to use the power of video to amplify those voices," Oplinger told us back in May. That will involve not only the video AMAs, but also documentary and narrative series made "in partnership with specific Reddit communities," and — eventually — user-generated content.