Less than one day short of its December 1st deadline, Reddit has topped 200,000 registrants for its 2014 Secret Santa gift exchange. This is well over double the 85,000+ users who signed up last year, and even better, it means Reddit has broken its own Guinness World Record.
As Venture Beat points out, Reddit’s real motivation behind trying to get more gift-givers to sign up probably has more to do with attracting advertising revenue, although the new world record is certainly nice as well. As the description of the rules state, the general idea of the gift exchange is that you’re randomly paired with another Reddit user, and have to scan through their posting history on the social site in order to find something to match their interests.
This means additional traffic generated across Reddit’s pages, as well as over 200,000 people specifically searching with the intent to buy something. It’s a safe bet that Reddit will use those two metrics for selling native ad space on the site to advertising firms. An additional benefit is that the Secret Santa campaign tends to attract new users each year, who in turn stick around on the site over the long-term.
That being said, it isn’t like the massive-scale gift exchange is all about secret, financial-driven motives. Members of the Reddit community are said to enjoy going after new world records, and everyone enjoys the holiday spirit of gift-giving. Reddit doesn’t have to stretch is resources beyond operational costs and promotion, and in turn the site improves its image gives users the opportunity to have some real-world fun.