Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Confirmed! Reddit Users Really, Really Dislike Pop-Up Ads.

It is all Apple, all the time in techland this week. Except at Reddit, where the social news site’s users spent most of yesterday obsessing about something else: A rogue ad.

Reddit is a Digg-like community-powered news aggregation/curation service that Condé Nast bought a few years ago and has more or less left alone. The publisher has made a very cautious attempt to introduce some advertising into the free site, but so far, it’s just toe-in-the water stuff. Because Reddit users really, really hate advertising.

Here’s proof: The deluge of angry commentary that dominated the site Thursday after visitors started seeing a pop-up ad that wasn’t supposed to be there.

The short version of the story is that Reddit says this was an honest mistake that wasn’t really its fault–it lays the blame on other Condé sites and Google’s (GOOG) Dart ad-serving service. But Reddit says it’s sorry anyway, because “we would sooner bludgeon ourselves to death with keyboards than run pop-over ads.”

You can find a longer version of the tale via Reddit engineer Mike Schiraldi’s blog post, which is pretty entertaining. And you can get a sampling of Reddit users’ reactions here, but be warned that some of them use salty language to complain about seeing advertisements.

Oh, and the ad in question? Tangentially related to Apple (AAPL). After all–the ad was for iPad carrier AT&T (T). But it was promoting the carrier’s relationship with Apple iPhone competitor Research in Motion (RIMM).