Dubsmash communities are led by young, diverse creators – about 25 percent of all black teens in the United States are on Dubsmash, and women make up 70 percent of users. About 30% of users log in to create video content every day, indicating a high level of retention and engagement, and Dubsmash allows over 1 billion video views per month, demonstrating the strength of its communities.
TikTok was famous critical when a designer appropriated dance movements created by artist Dubsmash Jalaiah Harmon without giving credit. Since then, Dubsmash has set up designer mansions for artists of color and helped them negotiate branded deals, according to a recent New York Times article. “The black creative community has been under-recognized and under-funded, although it has arguably made the biggest contributions to social media,” said Barrie Segal, Content Manager at Dubsmash. NOW.
Dubsmash may seem like an unlikely acquisition target for Reddit, which has been seen as a haven for hate speech. In June, the site’s moderators posted a scathing message open letter to CEO Steve Huffman, writing that “the issue of Reddit leadership supporting and providing a platform for racist users and hate communities has long been a problem.”
At the same time, founder and former CEO Alexis Ohanian recently resigned from the board of directors of Reddit, promising to use future profits from his Reddit actions to “serve the black community, primarily to combat racial hatred.” He also asked to be replaced on the board by a black candidate. Current CEO Steve Huffman said Reddit would honor this “meaningful gesture” and pledge to “use this opportunity for change.” Ohanian was later replaced by CEO of Y Combinator Michael Seibel.
In a statement on the acquisition, Huffman said, “Dubsmash elevates underrepresented creators, while Reddit fosters a sense of community and belonging across thousands of different topics and passions. It is clear that our missions are closely aligned and that our community-driven platforms can coexist and grow as we learn from each other.