Reddit is one of the most popular sites on the internet with 174 million active users per month, and its popularity is expected to continuously grow. With this kind of a dedicated following, it is surprising that they have never had an official mobile app to allow their users to browse the powerful news and entertainment site. Instead, they’ve allowed third-party developers to create unofficial programs, letting their users choose from any numbers of apps. The most popular of these third-party mobile apps is Alien Blue, created soley by native Australian Jase Morrissey.
As of Wednesday, Alien Blue and Reddit have joined forces to bring the official Reddit mobile app to iOS. This new app will join the official AMA (Ask Me Anything) app already in the App Store. Ellen Pao, Reddit’s head of partnerships and strategic developments said in an interview:
We want to be able to have new features from Reddit.com show up on mobile faster and better. With Alien Blue and Jase, it was getting to a point where it was too much work for one person. He was helping us, we were helping him and the fit was really strong.”
Morrissey will stay in Australia and continue to work remotely on the app, which is in direct contrast to Reddit’s new policy for their employees in the United States. In the beginning of October, Reddit stated that all employees must relocate to their headquarters in San Francisco or face termination. Their goal is have the entire Reddit team under one roof to optimize teamwork. This news came after the company secured $50 million in funding from various influential tech entrepreneurs.
The company plans to continue to work with third-party developers to enhance the site experience:
We’re also continuing to work with other third-party app developers and will continue to do so, because we believe our communities are interested in multiple ways to experience reddit. In the past six months, we’ve improved our API, added OAuth for apps, and added gold features to help build our mobile developer ecosystem.”
When asked about a possible app for Android, Pao responded, “we would love to have something on Android, but we need to hire, and it’s been hard to hire in mobile.” Hopefully, the hiring process will become easier, and Alien Blue will be in Google Play soon.
Alien Blue is now available for free download in the App Store with the option to pay for the upgraded pro service.