In the early days of Reddit’s launch, the site’s co-founders created hundreds of fake profiles in an attempt to make the site look popular.
Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian would submit links under a new alias username each time.
Ohanian and Huffman were embarrassed by the blank space on the front page. “If you show up to the site and it’s blank, it looks like a ghost town,” Huffman said.
The two made a special submission page for themselves, which added a ‘user’ field, which was invisible to general users. Ohanian and Huffman could then enter a fake name when submitting their content.
“That did two things,” said Huffman. “It set the tone… and it made the site feel alive.”
Huffman and Ohanian accredit their ghost profiles to some of the early success the site had before gaining significant popularity.