Reddit is buying Dubsmash. This surprising news is driving the digital community in December 2020. What does a news aggregator and discussion platform want with a social video app? There’s no clear answer – though there are a few starting points.

What is Dubsmash?

If you download the app Dubsmash onto your smartphone, you might think you’re in a parallel world. After the usual registration, you are asked which hashtags you would like to follow. Suggestions include #Musician or #Smallbusiness.

As soon as you have made your selection, the first video opens immediately. It only takes a few seconds and with a swipe up you can switch to the next post. Sound familiar? That’s right: this is exactly the concept of the social shooting star Tik Tok.

Both from the technical functions – time lapse, background music and co. – and the content – short videos with lots of dancing and Lipsync – the two platforms are similar in every detail.

Reddit buys Dubsmash

Somewhat surprisingly, Reddit has now announced that it has acquired the social video app Dubsmash. However, the company is only changing hands on paper, as Reddit wants Dubsmash to continue to exist as an independent app.

What makes Dubsmash so special?

Since no information is available on the details of the acquisition, the question of why naturally arises. What makes Dubsmash so special that Reddit is acquiring this app? There are few concrete figures on Dubsmash itself.

One special feature, however, is definitely the target group. As Reddit writes, the Tik-Tok clone is filled with “young, diverse creators”. That means, for example, that 25 percent of all dark-skinned teenagers from the U.S. are represented on the platform. What’s more, 70 percent of the community is female.

The last two pieces of information are that about 30 percent of users are active on the platform every day and that one billion video views are generated every month. However, neither of these numbers are particularly valuable without classification by the total number of users.

What is certain, however, is that the hype phase of Dubsmash is actually already over. In 2014, the app, which was founded in Berlin, reached millions of downloads. After moving to New York, entertainer Jimmy Fallon then used the app on his show in 2016.

After that, however, it became quieter. This is certainly also due to the fact that Musically, which is now called Tik Tok, a competitor with the same concept was more convincing to the masses from 2017.

Reddit buys image and technology

On the surface – and Reddit itself emphasizes this – both platforms stand for diversity and freedom of opinion. The range of discussions on Reddit is gigantic.

This can be seen just by looking at the letter “P” and the results on the first page. The spectrum ranges from paleontology to rooms with names like “PlayTheBazaar” or “Popgeeksnet” – so there are no limits to the imagination.

The freedom that is lived also ensures that radical political groups find a place again and again. For example, the group “The_Donald,” which was closed in the summer of 2020, revolved around former U.S. President Donald Trump and was overflowing with hate messages.

Thus, Dubsmash neatly polishes Reddit’s image in external perception.

However, the technical component also played a role in the purchase. After all, Reddit has not only bought a community, but above all a functioning social video platform with an algorithm.

It is therefore not surprising that Reddit plans to integrate the Dubsmash technology into its own platform. This should make it easier for Reddit users to create their own videos. Currently, the majority of videos come from external sources.

Conclusion

The acquisition of Dubsmash should be a win-win situation for Reddit. On the one hand, the new social video app gives the discussion forum a broader base. This opens up new opportunities, especially in the area of advertising – Reddit’s greatest weakness.

On the other hand, the technology was probably relatively cheap in relation because the hype around Dubsmash has been over for years. It is true that no concrete figures on the acquisition are known. Nevertheless, the price is likely to be very far from the $50 billion estimated for Tik Tok.

And very little will probably change for the users of Dubsmash – which is also good.