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I love this website and use it a lot. The website is really good and awesome. I was just wondering how the website actually earns any money, as I don't see any single advertisement at all.

Is there any donation feature then?

How exactly do they earn money? Also, are there any paid workers on the website?

  • It does have ads, albeit in the most polite way you can imagine. It is now planning to take things a step further: meta.stackexchange.com/q/306737/309993 – NVZ Feb 21 '18 at 9:30
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    This is a very old answer from the founder, Jeff, himself. meta.stackexchange.com/a/79448/309993. And here's a related blog post: stackoverflow.blog/2016/11/15/… – NVZ Feb 21 '18 at 9:31
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    It will soon be releasing its own crypto currency RepCoin, to cash in on the block chain craze. (j/k) – Matt E. Эллен Feb 21 '18 at 15:49
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    @user1284969632635 Oh, hey, welcome back. Speaking for the OP, it's not easy for new users to know what and where to "research" about the workings of the SE. I vote up for it is "useful and clear". – NVZ Feb 24 '18 at 5:49
  • @NVZ Greetings. Surely the bare minimum research approach, even when in doubt if it will bring any results, is to search the internet. A Google search for How does Stack Exchange earn money returns a plethora of results. – AmE speaker Feb 27 '18 at 19:04
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it shows absolutely no research and a google search for How does Stack Exchange earn money returns a plethora of results, including results from SE/SO (and Quora). So we might ask, minimally, how do those results not provide a satisfactory answer. – AmE speaker Feb 27 '18 at 19:06
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    @MattE.Эллен Well, let's hope they don't go mining coins from our web browsers. I'm sure there are hours and hours worth of CPU/GPU available to SE from us readers. :P – NVZ Feb 27 '18 at 19:16
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    I voted up because I have often wondered the same thing, but not enough to spend time doing research. I therefore found this question useful. – ab2 Mar 13 '18 at 1:42
  • @MattE.Эллен ...whose value is tied to the open market on convertible frequent flier miles. – Mitch Oct 1 '18 at 13:56
  • @MattE.Эллен We already have them. You can use them to buy bounties and down-votes. :P – Lawrence Oct 2 '18 at 23:47
  • (Who cares how SE gets their money... in 2015 40 million was raised mostly by a single venture capital firm) Hmm.. uses the site a lot? Posted a year ago in February, and not seen since March 2018. What would be interesting, is to know why the OP left the site. – Mari-Lou A Jan 13 at 7:43
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Advertisements

Advertisers can only purchase ads to run on certain sites. This page (also here) lists all the sites included:

Advertisements are either for the "top leaderboard", "sidebar", or "mid-page leaderboard".

This means that Stack Overflow (the company that owns the network) is making money off ads on other sites, but not this one. However, visitors to this site may visit other sites that have advertisements via e.g. the Hot Network Questions sidebar.

Note that Community Promo Ads are different. All sites have Community Promo Ads (if there are ads with enough upvotes to be shown), but it doesn't generate any revenue. Neither do house ads, which are ads that advertise questions on other sites.

Amazon Affiliate Links

You may not have noticed, but there is one subtle way this site makes some money: Amazon links. Whenever someone links to Amazon.com, the link becomes a Rads.stackoverflow.com link, which means that if someone clicks and buys a product they know that Stack Exchange referred the person and pay them a small portion of the profit from the sale. Across the network this “paid for far more than [some employee’s salary] each month”.

Site Sponsorship

According to the post where it was first announced:

A sponsorship generally entails enabling ads relevant to the subject and affixing a small "sponsored by..." logo in the upper-right corner.

Currently, there are two sponsored sites:

It's important to note that these sites are (currently) beta sites in almost every respect (for example privilege levels), but they have a design.

Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is the biggest site in the network and generates the most revenue. The following are Stack Overflow-specific revenue generators:


Employees

Yes, there are 250+ people employed by Stack Overflow. Management is listed here. The Community Managers are listed here.

I'm not sure what happened to the list of all employees, but you can find an archived list here.

  • Thanks Laurel for the well-elucidated answer :) What kind of role do you have on this and maybe other websites? just wondering – Rohit Shekhawat Feb 23 '18 at 7:34
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    @RohitShekhawat I'm just a user like you. – Laurel Feb 23 '18 at 15:16
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    @Laurel the employee list was removed after a recent incidence (I don't think it's good to mention this publicly, but some Taverners on the Meta knew) – Andrew T. Feb 23 '18 at 18:30
  • Forgot to mention the 40 million raised by Andreessen Horowitz in 2015. I'm not sure if that can be classified as "earning" though, but it's a significant sum of money and explains how the boat was kept afloat. "The company (SE) did not disclose its valuation or revenue, but said it is not profitable." – Mari-Lou A Jan 13 at 7:48

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