Only one day short of its December 1st deadline, Reddit has surpassed 200,000 registrants for its 2014 Secret Santa gift exchange. That’s over double the 85,000+ users who signed up last year. It also means that Reddit has broken its own Guinness World Record. I’m sure they are happy about that.
Reddit’s motivation behind trying to get more gift-givers to sign up may not be all about the spirit of Christmas. It likely has more to do with attracting advertising revenue. Of course a new world record never hurts either.
The idea of the gift exchange is that you’re randomly paired with another Reddit user, and have to search through their posting history on the social site in order to find something cool to match their interests. This adds up to additional traffic generated across Reddit’s pages, and over 200,000 people specifically searching with the intent to buy something. The Reddit will use those two metrics for selling native ad space on the site. It’s a pretty clever little idea.
Also the Secret Santa campaign attracts lots of new users each year. Most importantly members of the Reddit community enjoy the holiday and get into the spirit of gift-giving. So everyone wins in the end.