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Conde Nast buys RedditSocial media site Reddit has been bought by Wired publisher Condé Nast for an undisclosed sum, with TechCrunch again breaking the rumour. Reddit has itself just confirmed the news.

Reddit, which enables users to suggest and rank stories, is a user-generated news aggregator, with stories rising to the top based on popularity, rather like competitor Digg.

The deal, apparently conducted this morning and due to be formally announced later today, will see the Boston-based site’s four employees moving to San Fransisco to become part of Wired Digital. 

Founded last year, it is part of Paul Graham’s Y Combinator group, which typically invests around $6,000 for a stake in startup companies.

The move comes as speculation continues to swirl around Reddit’s rival Digg, with News Corp named as one possible buyer.

Digg is widely thought to be holding out for a valuation of at least $150m, before it sells, though that seems very steep by our reckoning.

One comment on the Reddit site "confirms" that Condé Nast paid $65m, though that should be taken with a fat dose of salt at the time of writing. Again, $65m would suggest that we're in a serious period of inflation, though let's stop short of calling this a bubble.

Some of Reddit's users are already up in arms on news of the sale to a Big Media publisher. A user called Hammy writes:

"I predict fewer anti-establishment articles, and more "isn't this new gadget neato?" articles ala Wired. Or "we didn't do any research, but here's equal time for two opposing sides... decide for yourselves!"

Meanwhile Reddit has just confirmed that the sale has gone through by way of a post on its blog entitled 'Happy Halloween'.

"As reddit grew, we were never quite sure where it would take us. To keep up with reddit's growth, we'd need to decide between taking more investment or getting acquired. As much as we enjoyed VCs taking us out to lunch, CondeNet's pitch was a little more enticing (they had better food).

"We're still going to be the guys reading your feedback emails and keeping reddit chugging along. We've also been given about as much autonomy as an acquired company could get. In fact, they've insisted that we focus on growing reddit. With their resources, we're looking to do some neat things in the coming months."

Well done to the Reddit Team and also to Paul Graham / Y Combinator.

*** UPDATE: Digging a bit deeper (no pun intended) we've figured out that the Reddit team already has some kind of relationship with CondeNet, the Conde Nast digital division. The Reddit team built www.lipstick.com, a celeb-focused version of Reddit, which launched about six months ago.

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Published 31 October, 2006 by Richard Maven

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