Could the next unicorn founders be hiding in the Reddit comments?
By listening to a community of 234 million peers and tailoring a product just for them, Gfycat went from a small startup making beautiful GIFs to the largest user-generated GIF platform in the world—in under 2 years.
So could Reddit be the next Y-Combinator for startups? Here’s why Gfycat thinks so:
IT’S FULL OF ACTIVE NICHE COMMUNITIES AND EARLY ADOPTERS
Gfycat knew its 10x faster loading speeds and 4K resolution would appeal to users who wanted to share seamless highlights—so they targeted overlooked reddit communities like gamers and soccer fans. While these communities might be smaller, they’re much more engaged.
REDDIT OFFERS A RAPID FEEDBACK LOOP
Gfycat co-founder Dan McEleney posted (and continues to post) about each Gfycat update on a dedicated subreddit. He also actively responds to feedback from redditors—troubleshooting and explaining new updates. The result? A tailored product to which Gfycat users are fiercely loyal.
IT’S A COMMUNITY COMPRISED OF CREATORS
Gfycat assumed Redditors, as active contributors to a community-created content hub, would be eager to create new GIFs no matter their level of expertise. So they created a format that made it easy for everyone—not just the GIF-pros at /r/gifs—to create HD content. 80 million users later, they proved targeting active creators was an insightful choice.
Check out a few examples of Gfycat’s most popular GIFs: