Reddit struck a $60 million deal with Google to train models on its posts

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SAN FRANCISCO — Reddit has struck a deal with Google that allows the search giant to use posts from the online discussion site for training its artificial intelligence models and to improve services such as Google Search.
The arrangement, announced Thursday and valued at roughly $60 million, will also give Reddit access to Google AI models for improving its internal site search and other features.
Reddit declined to comment or answer questions beyond its written statement about the deal.
The company said it aims to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol RDDT.
The Google deal is a big step for Reddit, which relies on volunteer moderators to run its sprawling array of freewheeling topic-based discussions.
The arrangement with Google doesn’t presage any sort of data-driven changes to how Reddit functions, according to an individual familiar with the matter.
Instead, users simply search for the discussion forums they’re interested in and can then dive into ongoing conversations or start new ones.
For instance, when Reddit users delete their posts or other content, the site deletes it everywhere, with no ghostly remnants lingering in unexpected locations.
Reddit partners such as Google are required to do likewise in order “to respect the choices that users make on Reddit,” the individual said.
It described this process as “more content-forward displays of Reddit information” that aim to benefit both Google’s tools and to make it easier for people to participate on Reddit.

Reddit has reached an agreement with Google that permits the search engine giant to use posts from the social media platform to train its artificial intelligence models and enhance services like Google Search. The deal was made in San Francisco.

As part of the agreement, which was revealed on Thursday and is estimated to be worth $60 million, Reddit will also have access to Google AI models for enhancing other features and its internal site search. Apart from its official statement regarding the deal, Reddit declined to respond to inquiries or make additional comments.

The San Francisco-based business also revealed details about its Wednesday initial public offering. Using revenue of $249.8 million, Reddit reported net income of $18.5 million for the October–December quarter, marking its first profit in two years, according to documents the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company announced that it intends to list its shares under the ticker symbol RDDT on the New York Stock Exchange.

For Reddit, which depends on volunteer moderators to oversee its vast array of rambling topic-based discussions, the Google acquisition is a significant step. Reddit’s recent announcement that it would begin charging numerous third-party apps for access to its content sparked a public outcry from the moderators, who most recently blocked off a large portion of the website for several days.

According to a person familiar with the situation, the agreement with Google does not portend any kind of data-driven modifications to Reddit’s operations. This individual asked to remain anonymous in order to speak freely during the “quiet period” that comes before an initial public offering (IPO), which is enforced by the SEC. Reddit does not employ algorithmic processes to predict what users will be most interested in seeing next, in contrast to social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok. Users can initiate new conversations or participate in ongoing ones by simply searching for the discussion forums they are interested in.

The person also mentioned that Reddit’s user terms and privacy policy, which are somewhat different from those of other social media platforms, are mandated by the agreement and must be followed by Google. Reddit, for example, removes user-generated content, such as posts, from the entire platform; there are no phantom copies left behind in strange places. The person stated that in order to “respect the choices that users make on Reddit,” Reddit partners like Google must follow suit.

Google, which is desperate for access to human-written content to train its AI models to improve their “understanding” of the world and, consequently, their capacity to respond intelligently and in a conversational manner to queries, finds the data-sharing agreement to be extremely significant as well.

In a press release, Google lauded Reddit, describing it as a storehouse for “an incredible breadth of authentic, human conversations and experiences” and emphasizing that its main goal is “to make it even easier for people to benefit from that useful information.”. “.

By focusing on how it will make it “even easier” for users to access Reddit information—such as product recommendations and travel advice—by funneling it through Google products, Google downplayed its interest in using Reddit data to train its AI systems.

The goal of this process, according to the description, is to create “more content-forward displays of Reddit information” that will facilitate Reddit participation and improve Google’s toolkit.

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