Reddit Sealed a $60 Million Deal Permitting Google to Train AI Models Using its Posts

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Reddit has entered into a deal with Google allowing the tech giant to utilize posts from the online platform for the training of its artificial intelligence models and the enhancement of services such as Google Search. The agreement, unveiled on Thursday and estimated at around $60 million, will also grant Reddit access to Google’s AI models for refining its internal site search and other functionalities. Reddit declined to provide further details beyond its written statement regarding the deal. Additionally, the San Francisco-based company announced its intentions for an initial public offering (IPO) on Wednesday. In documents submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Reddit disclosed a net income of $18.5 million in the October-December quarter, marking its first profit in two years, with revenue totaling $249.8 million. The company aims to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol RDDT.

The deal with Google marks a significant milestone for Reddit, a platform known for its decentralized structure reliant on volunteer moderators to oversee a wide range of topic-based discussions. These moderators have previously voiced opposition to Reddit’s decisions, including staging site-wide blackouts in protest against proposed changes. However, the collaboration with Google is not expected to prompt any data-driven alterations to Reddit’s operations, according to a source familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity during the SEC-mandated “quiet period” preceding the IPO. Unlike other social media platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube, Reddit does not employ algorithmic methods to predict user interests. Instead, users navigate the platform by directly searching for discussion forums of interest and engaging in ongoing conversations or initiating new ones.

The source also emphasized that the agreement mandates Google‘s compliance with Reddit’s user terms and privacy policy, which differ in certain aspects from other social media platforms. Notably, when Reddit users delete their posts or other content, the platform ensures complete removal without any lingering remnants. Reddit’s partners, including Google, are obligated to adhere to this policy to uphold users’ choices, the source explained.

Moreover, the data-sharing arrangement holds significant importance for Google, as it seeks access to human-generated content to enhance its AI models’ understanding of the world. This improved understanding enables Google’s AI to provide more relevant answers to questions in a conversational format.

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