Reddit: The Official App
Reddit, which calls itself “the front page of the internet” has launched official smartphone apps for iOS and Android for the first time. Robert Galbraith/Reuters

Reddit, dubbed “the front page of the internet,” has launched its first official smartphone apps for Android and iOS offering those who sign up first three months of its premium service known as Reddit Gold.

The new apps comes 18 months after Reddit acquired the rights to Alien Blue which was far-and-away the most popular iPhone and iPad third-party Reddit app at the time. Anyone downloading and logging into the free app — simply called Reddit: The Official App — within the first week it is available will be given three months of Reddit Gold membership, which offers premium features like an ad-free experience and the ability to add themes. Reddit Gold is typically priced at $4 per month or $30-a-year.

“We learned a lot from our passionate Alien Blue community about what makes a great iOS app and we applied those learnings when building Reddit for iOS,” Alex Le, Reddit’s vice president of consumer product, told TechCrunch. “Due to limited resources, we decided to focus our efforts on making Reddit for iOS our primary and official Reddit client.”

Official Reddit App
Reddit has launched an official Reddit app for iOS and Android for the first time Reddit/iTunes

While dozens of third-party Reddit apps remain on both iOS and Android, it is hoped the official app will attract users through its ability to display rich media content as well as support for customizable subreddits — something not available previously on Alien Blue or any other third-party apps.

“Having a native Reddit app on Android and iOS — especially one that’s this fast — is going to ruin a lot of people’s productivity. And I’m okay with that,” says Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder. “The team has done a remarkable job shipping such a polished app in such a short period of time and it’s only going to get better! It’s a privilege to be able to create for such a devoted user base of hundreds of millions of people.”

The company previously launched an official Ask Me Anything app in 2014 specifically for the site’s hugely popular AMA sessions, which attract huge audiences. Launched in 2005, Reddit had 36 million user accounts as of last June, and, according to Alexa, is the 34th most popular website in the world.

Alien Blue will no longer be available in the App Store or Google Play, meaning it won’t be accessible to new users who have yet to install it. Those who have the app installed will be transitioned to the new code base in coming months, with the new apps expected to get regular monthly updates.