Reddit has an app. The self-proclaimed 'front page of the internet' has launched a mobile app of one of its most popular features: Ask Me Anything (AMA) interviews.
The AMA app, already available on the Apple store and due to launch on Android later this week, allows users to read and ask questions in real time, notifies them of popular upcoming and ongoing AMAs, and makes the community's content "easy-to read".
The web version of Ask Me Anything has been criticised for lacking intuitive functionality, especially for new users, with many of the subject's best responses found buried beneath unanswered questions.
AMA represents Reddit's first real app offering since its aborted launch of the official app back in 2011. Since then, the supersite has partnered with third party developers to design its apps - Alien Blue on iOS and Bacon Reader on Android.
But as it approaches its 10th birthday, Reddit is looking to expand beyond its content curation bread-and-butter.
Beyond content curation
"We want to make it easier for new users to join Reddit and experience all the awesome content," Reddit's senior VP Ellen Pao told Variety.
"That's part of the overall goal of becoming a more mature company."
Following site's introduction of the 'trending subreddits' feature earlier this year, and the recent launch of Reddit live, this app is the most significant step in a series designed to enhance the site's tried-and-true setup.
Pao said: "We're excited and happy to grow but we've never been super proactive about it, it's always been done organically. Now it's time to be more proactive and grow."
With over 17 million unique monthly visitors, and more than 150 million page views, Reddit has seen its user base double every year since its 2005 bow. The AMA community alone numbers over 6 million subscribers.
Return to mobile
The Reddit AMA app may be the first of more apps to come, although Pao admits they will continue to work with third party developers: "We're not trying to be the be-all-end-all of every interaction users want to have on Reddit."
Reddit's return to mobile was driven by data that revealed nearly half of new users accessed the site on mobile.
"We found out in the last year or so a huge uptick in people accessing Reddit from the mobile web, and we want to give those folks a great experience," Pao said.
This app is designed to make Reddit, largely the domain for net natives, and also highly controversial following its role in incidents like last weekend's nude celebrity images scandal, a better experience for newbies, with AMA considered the site's most mainstream offering.
It's the gateway to the site's 7,800 disparate communities. In a nutshell, Ask Me Anything is a community interview wherein someone sits by a computer and answers hundreds upon thousands of questions from redditors on subjects ranging from inane to deadly serious.
There are two sides to Ask Me Anything. The subreddit's celebrity highlights – featuring public figures like President Barack Obama and Bill Gates – are amongst Reddit's most popular posts ever, while the Q&As with ordinary people – such as citizens of war-torn Ukraine and Iraq– are considered the site's not-so-hidden secrets.