Reddit’s Jen Wong on Bringing Brands to the Platform

LAS VEGAS—Speaking at Adweek’s Through the Looking Glass panel at CES 2020, Jen Wong, Reddit’s chief operating officer, said she’s optimistic the internet will “get better” and healthier—and Reddit will play a role in that.

“[Reddit] is like the original internet that never died. … It’s this massive untapped part of digital life that’s continuing to grow,” Wong said in an interview with Adweek’s publishing editor Sara Jerde. “We are there to provide a community.”

That ethos is core to Reddit’s values of allowing users more control over their data. Add in its reputation as a forum where anything goes, and monetizing that community can be tricky for marketers. That’s where Wong and her team come in.

“We show them where they’ll come up in a conversation so [marketers] can understand how communities feel about them, how they relate with them,” she said. “We support them in the creative so their vernacular matches the culture. We give them the tools to execute.”

Wong, who joined Reddit a little more than a year ago from Time Inc., knows that Reddit will be under the microscope in an election year for its political communities and subreddits. She also understands why Reddit has had success attracting users amid the chaos of today’s political climate.

“They come to sift through the veracity of information. There are 500 articles on the same topic—which one is true? I think in this election, there’s going to be a lot of people seeking that analysis,” Wong said.

As for what she’s paying attention to at CES 2020, Wong has her eye on biohacking, which uses technology to improve the physical body outside of traditional medicine.

“I guess we all want to live to 120,” she joked.

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