WALLSTREETBETS' Reddit page helped send shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings soaring.
But what is Reddit's background, and why is it so popular?
Who owns Reddit?
In 2011, popular online discussion board Reddit became an independent subsidiary of Conde Nast's parent company, Advance Publications.
Who founded Reddit?
Reddit was founded in 2005 by two college friends, Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian.
The pals were college roommates and launched the firm shortly after graduating from the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, United States.
Conde Nast acquired Reddit in 2006 for $10million.
Ohanian later tweeted: "The deal was months in the making and I wish I’d had more advisors around the table giving me more perspective on the sale.”
Both Huffman and Ohanian initially left the company in October 2009 before later returning – although Ohanian has recently quit again.
Internet entrepreneur Ohanian says on his website that he "returned as executive chairman in 2014 to help lead the turnaround of a company with less than $10million in annual revenue to today’s $3billion valuation".
He is married to tennis legend Serena Williams, and they have a daughter, Alexis Olympia.
Ohanian writes: "After the murder of George Floyd, I considered a future conversation I’d have with my daughter about what I did to create a more equitable world online and offline for her; I resigned from the board of Reddit in June of 2020 in protest."
Who is Reddit's CEO?
Reddit's CEO at the San Francisco, California-based company is co-founder Steve Huffman.
He returned in 2015 after interim CEO Ellen Pao resigned from the company.
Huffman took the lead role months after Reddit said it would remove photos, videos or links that featured explicit content if the person in the image didn’t give permission for it to be posted.
That came months after a furore over hackers obtaining nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities and posting them to Reddit, among other social media sites.
How much is Reddit worth?
The social-networking company and online community makes money through ads and premium membership plans, explains Investopedia.
Reddit also offers managed-ads campaigns and auction-based advertising to firms.
It "was valued at $3billion in its latest round of funding that took place in February 2019," the website adds.
Why is Reddit popular?
Describing itself as "the front page of the internet", Reddit boasts more than 52million daily active users.
Its discussion website hosts more than 100,000 discussion groups, so-called 'subreddits'.
The authors are mostly anonymous, but their posts cover a phenomenalrange of topics – from advice on animals or the best puns to travel and 'QAnon casualties'.
Users post news stories, images, videos, and links. Comments and posts can be "upvoted or downvoted". The most interesting content rises to the top of the forums.
Reddit explains that it "is home to thousands of communities, endless conversation, and authentic human connection.
"Whether you're into breaking news, sports, TV fan theories, or a never-ending stream of the internet's cutest animals, there's a community on Reddit for you."
But Reddit hit headlines worldwide in January 2021 after its users sent GameStop stock prices skyrocketing.
A famous Reddit group called WallStreetBets, that boasts some 4.7million members, urged people to buy and hold GameStop shares – punishing short sellers with soaring prices.
News agency AFP said it showed the masses rebelling against one-percenters hoarding the world's wealth.
The social media-fueled movement sent shares in the US video game retail chain rocketing from less than $20 to a peak of $492 on January 28, 2021, dearly costing hedge funds which had bet that GameStop stock would tank.
Even Tesla chief Elon Musk got in on the act, urging investors to punish hedge funds for short selling, tweeting "Get Shorty".
The founder of Wallstreetbets was stunned by the impact.
After pushing multi-billion-dollar hedge funds to the brink of bankruptcy, Jaime Rogozinski, 39, described it as a 'train wreck'.
The IT consultant told the Wall Street Journal: "It's a little like watching one of those horror films where you can see the bad guy slowly going up the stairs.
"You see this train wreck happening in real time."
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