By Spencer Feingold

Reddit is expanding its operation in New York City with increased ad sales teams and additional engineers, the company announced Tuesday.

“We need a hub in New York where our agency partners are and where a lot of leading marketers are,” Jen Wong, Reddit’s Chief Operating Officer, told Cheddar in an interview Wednesday.

The online aggregator and discussion platform also announced this week the hiring of Mary Ann Belliveau as the new senior director of brand partnerships to lead the East Coast sales operations. Belliveau is a major hire for Reddit and brings decades of digital marketing experience from her time at Twitter and Google.

“People are consumers, everybody needs something,” Belliveau told Cheddar, adding that Reddit is a particularly interesting platform to introduce branded content on because of its often very specific subreddit communities. “We want an ads platform that is effective for marketers, that finds the right target audience for them."

Reddit, which was founded in 2005, has grown to serve over 330 million monthly active users in nearly 150,000 active communities. The San Francisco based platform saw more than 153 million posts and over 1.2 billion comments in 2018. The site also recorded over 27 billion votes, which is what determines a post's placing within a subreddit — the more up-votes a post receives, the higher it is on the page.

“We have a balance between humans and involving users and empowering them to access their ideas as well as giving them tools and technology,” Wong said.

In improving the site’s technology, Reddit is also implementing machine learning software to its ads strategies and consumer experience.

“Machine learning for ads optimization is a new frontier for Reddit, and we’re growing the NYC engineering team to take advantage of the deep pool of talent NYC has to offer,” Shariq Rizvi, Reddit’s vice president of ads product and engineering, said in a statement.

Wong added the technology will also help the site’s moderators block hateful and harmful content — which has long been a controversial aspect of nefarious subreddit groups.

For full interview click here.