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Reddit’s IPO Sparks Skepticism Among Its Users

Reddit’s leap towards going public next month under the ticker RDDT, paired with its $60 million-a-year content licensing deal with Google for AI training, has stirred quite the conversation among its community. In an unconventional move, Reddit is offering its moderators — the backbone of the platform’s user-driven content curation — the opportunity to purchase stock. This nod towards community inclusion in its IPO journey was significant enough to warrant a mention in its IPO filings, highlighting potential volatility from such a unique shareholder base.

However, the sentiment across Reddit’s vast network of forums suggests that its power users might not be rushing to invest. A glance at r/WallStreetBets, a subreddit with 15 million subscribers known for its role in the GameStop stock phenomenon, reveals a mix of skepticism and outright disinterest in purchasing Reddit stock. Posts range from inquiries on how to short the company’s impending IPO to outright rejections of the offer to participate in the Directed Shares Program, despite the potential for insider access.

One user’s screenshot of their invitation to buy shares elicited responses ranging from “Hard pass” to philosophical musings about the wisdom of investing in a platform they use for leisurely discourse. Another user’s blunt assessment, “This is a septic tank filled with the dumbest monkeys,” reflects a broader sentiment of distrust and critique of Reddit’s governance and monetization potential, even among its most active participants.

Over at r/stocks, the tone wasn’t any warmer, with users expressing a desire to short the stock, highlighting a pervasive lack of enthusiasm for Reddit’s market debut. This collective wariness underscores a broader, perhaps more cynical view of the platform’s value as a financial investment, despite its cultural significance and role in shaping online discourse.

While these reactions represent just a sliver of Reddit’s diverse user base, they underscore a fascinating dynamic: a platform known for rallying significant market movements through community action faces skepticism from within its own ranks about its financial prospects.

As Reddit prepares to enter the public market, the juxtaposition of its ambitious corporate moves against the backdrop of its community’s wariness offers a unique case study in user engagement and investor sentiment. Whether this skepticism will impact Reddit’s IPO performance remains to be seen, but for now, the platform’s most vocal users seem content to watch from the sidelines, memes at the ready.