While I'm still complaining:
"You now need an email to sign up..." You don't, you can just click 'next' without entering one.
"The mobile experience was improved" It wasn't. It's designed to be so frustrating you just download the app.
This is an absolute joke yeah. The page even has a button overlay "This looks better in the app" which I would take as an insult if I was their web dev but each to their own.
I would just use another website but I can't find one that has a similar mixture of cat gifs, old memes, far left propaganda, and occasional science news.
The way that it only does that with that button really makes it hard for me to believe it's not intentional
You can't use an ad blocker (easily) in an app, so they get to show you ads.
If you decide to buy reddit gold (or whatever they're calling it now), then they get the money from that instead.
If you're a web dev working on the Reddit redesign I assume you're long past caring or any form of shame.
Out of spite I downloaded 'a' free reddit client and bought the full version. The constant stream of useless notifications of the official app is just disgusting.
I would have said in the past that users like me who are resistant to introducing engagement mechanics/monetisation are why they're valued less than the likes of Twitter but recent stats I saw indicated old Reddit was like 15% of desktop users and the official app also had the majority of mobile users so looks like their plan to wait our the dilution of the long term user base is working so maybe that all changes in a few years.
The unbundling suggestions seem like it'd hurt the long tail, a lot of the value that Reddit has to me is the smaller specialised communities which are able to get users because people can eventually get introduced to smaller subreddits from larger subreddits. Cut off that traffic growth path and many of these communities have a much reduced reason to set up on Reddit Vs elsewhere.
The suggestions to move the focus from subreddits to users - it's something Reddit are subtly trying with redesigned profiles and more emphasis on people posting to profiles or following them, but to me it seems counter productive to what I like about Reddit. A subreddit can be kept on topic in a way a user cannot, and actually in many social circles there are pressures on people to make their views known on e.g. politics in twitter, where staying on whatever topic is actually discouraged
The farther they drift away from admitting that, the more tenuous their value proposition is going to be.
I have to believe that's the vast majority of the active userbase, and that Reddit just gets a lot of one off visits from Google search referrals.
I had the mobile app installed for a few months and I thought it was pretty good. I uninstalled it because I was using it to kill time on my phone, and it was becoming habitual (nothing going on? open reddit app). My solution to those types of things is to cut the cord, and I don't ever miss them.
I would call it an upside actually, that I don't even want to browse the site on my phone.
Many newer features are half-implemented or not implemented at all.
Some features which previously worked are broken.
The setting for preference of the old.reddit interface is not stable, and gets reset sometimes.
Even when the setting is preserved, there are nag messages to switch to the new one and/or the app.
Also, I think just calling it "old." feels a bit condescending and patronizing to the user. It certainly communicates that its days are numbered, so why would I want to invest any more of my time into it?
>Also, I think just calling it "old." feels a bit condescending and patronizing to the user. It certainly communicates that its days are numbered, so why would I want to invest any more of my time into it?
I guess they could call it "classic", but that'd be longer to type in the address bar.
Mod mail, rules list, and other mod features.
A few others I can't remember and don't care enough to go digging for.
Generally speaking, in the last couple of years, the more I use reddit, the less I want to use it. I've been pretty involved in it for 10+ years and used to love it. Reddit used to be a pretty important part of my life. It took a long time to de-train me from coming back to it, but they've done it. I hardly ever open it anymore, and I've routed www.reddit.com to localhost so that I wouldn't end up on the new design by accident. I've only done that for less than a dozen addresses.
> Image galleries.
I don't have any trouble with these.
> Mod mail, rules list, and other mod features.
I don't do any moderation on reddit, so I'll take your word for it here.
The biggest, frequent pain point I have with using reddit is their v.reddit.com videos. That is a garbage experience, but from what I understand, that experience is across old and new.
seems to work fine with RES
b) I doubt that the extension you reference solves most of the issues I mentioned, in particular the broken features.
c) I think beginning your advice with the word "Just" makes it sound condescending and dismissive.
Please consider reading this article: http://archive.is/J2ODQ
Yes, I am quite frustrated with frequently being told that I'm using the wrong browser or have it improperly configured.
I cannot imagine a world where I would allow reddit to send me any push notifications ever.
Minimalistic, but clear UI. Subreddits open nearly instantly. Discussion threads open instantly. Comments arranged by upvotes, not by Reddit's opaque scoring algorithm. No visual clutter. Minimal battery usage.
Having an ad-free, clean, sensible UI isn't aligned with their current vision.
If I were that subreddit I'd have my own website with blackjack and ... the whole share of the ad revenue. And use the money to promote History rather than just to make Conde, or whoever's, shareholders more wealthy.
* but not actually blackjack, gambling advertising is awful.
What are you referring to here?
The worst one I ever saw said something like "Use the app to avoid tracking"
Like how fucking retarded are you? How is the tracking not 10000 times worse on the app, you lying assholes!?
This smells like the brilliant plan of endless A/B testing that a unicorn did once, wrote about it on their company blog once it was used up, then everyone else followed.
These are all growth 'levers' which on paper can drastically improve metrics which is what is needed to get those crazy valuations and huge funding rounds. In reality they make the experience poor for the user, however, outside of the tech world most people are not bothered by these tricks.
I hate the new layout. I find the video player abysmal and I loathe the mobile experience.
Some of the content is still very good, but I feel like it's lessening as the anti-user hostility intensifies. It's a damn shame.
Nowadays there are companies which sport hundreds or thousands of alt accounts to drive marketing or political agendas. Posts like the Enchroma (scam) advertising on r/pics last week are just the obvious tip of the ice berg.
Companies share post templates to just fill and spread in targeted subreddits. Many mods are paid for channeling the "right" content just like Instagram/YT influencers are paid for product placements.
It's not some hobbyist forum for the more popular subs. It's a marketing engine.
It’s an open secret in the PR industry that if you can get moderators of popular subreddits (for your market) on your side, then it’s easy to throw the conversation in your favor.
Moderators are the invisible hand the sway the conversation on Reddit. They have immense power to remove posts and comments that they disagree with.
PR companies are more than happy to arrange for subreddit moderators to receive free product, chats with company executives, even trips for office or factory tours. It makes the moderators feel like they’re “in” with the company, and they began moderating accordingly.
In some cases, popular subreddit moderators simply start their own businesses selling to particular subreddits. Some of them truly are honest, but others are looking to make a quick buck selling courses, putting affiliate links in subreddit Wikis and other activities.
Right. This also leads to some of the clearest evidence that Reddit (the corporation) isn't interested in actually being a discussion board, but has completely given itself over to leveraging its user base for money.
Despite years of issues with subreddit mods selling out, taking over, censoring users, in general behaving badly and a complete lack of transparency, Reddit has changed nothing about how that system works.
I'd say they have changed for the worse. In recent years they have quarantined or banned many even remotely controversial subreddits. Reddit admins are increasingly forcing SV's political ideology onto it's users. Ramping up censorship will be the end of Reddit, as users leave to look for alternatives.
Don’t dare criticizing communism either, it’s especially fun having West German 18yo students yell at me for disliking socialism as a former Soviet Union citizen.
A) everyone assumes reddit culture is internet culture and will transplant it everywhere (see HN over the years)
B) reddit is big enough to have captured a large portion of internet discourse and therefore people who are deemed unwelcome are a significant portion of those who aren't on the platform. If you attempt to start a board, you'll quickly find that those individuals will descend on it and destroy it with hate unless you have exceptional moderation capacity.
It's not as if Hacker News is immune to this. Pay attention to some of the posts being pushed to the front page and the associated comments and you may notice similar shenanigans occuring here. This applies doubly so if the post is made during the weekend.
Considering the fact that many users on HN are reddit transplants, there is the inevitable spillover effect. Comments of the lowbrow variety have become more commonplace (e.g. comment threads made of low-hanging puns).
Without strict moderation, this site too will devolve. After all, you can take the redditor out of reddit but you can't take the reddit out of the redditor.
: As one example, a couple weeks ago there was a new account created by a user for the sole purpose of selling their book on HN; they've only been active on that account for that one single post and (I strongly suspect) they used alts to artificially boost their post to the front page.
I've had a few Reddit accounts over the years and always deleted them after a few posts. Nobody is capable of having a decent debate without ad hominems, strawman arguments, and downvote bombing. Any opinion against the grain will be silenced and probably just banned. For this reason I actually think Reddit is one of the worse social media sites. I only use it to consume content now and try to stay away from the main subreddits.
I follow my favorite youtubers on their subreddit. I have spent countless hours discussing manga, cars, soccer, politics (in a civil way), find prog bands, food science and so much more.
I can say this confidently: "None of those activities would be as much fun if I did not have my fellow redditors to enjoy it with."
The main subreddits are trash, but that's the point. Reddit might just be able to rapidly scale up to letting normies in, without letting the first-adopters feel like reddit has lost its charm. Specifically, there will be 2 reddits. One would be the front page with a tiktok-esque stream of memes, outrage and short videos; and the other would be the niche subreddits that function similarly to hacker news in terms of strict moderation and deliberate inaccessibility.
Now I am not sure if this genius of reddit is intentional or if the founders stumbled into what is probably the only survival plan for a business where scaling up inevitably leads to a huge drop in the value proposition of the platform itself.
Conde Nast made an incredible acquisition; and not having the market pressures of a public company might have something to do with Reddit's success.
edit: because I must shill for them some more
Reddit is also THE PLACE on the internet for the best surreal humour and organic decentralized art as social experiences. Subreddits like r/196, r/2meirl42meirl4meirl and r/kenm are completely inaccessible without knowing the meta-story around them, but have me rolling on the floor like nothing else. r/place is the most well known reddit decentralized art experience, but r/hqg, and r/youdontsurf create humor and art from a constrained format that can be so meta that the entire front page could be purely self-referential.
1. visibility - it is easier for users to find the community on reddit. Both from search engines, and "organically" on reddit.
2. foot traffic - users don't need to remember that you exist to visit, once a sub is in a user's feed, they will see all of the new posts.
3. Setting up a server and installing forum software might be "easy," but it is still much more difficult than setting up a subreddit.
The only real benefit to setting up a phpbb server is that you might get some revenue from ad traffic once the userbase grows up some.
To me, one of the impressive things about Reddit is how they have managed to be a mainstream site with porn, and how they manage to keep it off their front page.
For their own site, they're immediately hit with a wall of pain as they try to figure out what all they need to know just to get their first user. And there's nothing driving those users to their new forum, either.
I was a big user of forums before reddit, and I am glad it has centralized.
IMO, it is pretty obvious. It is the same reason any social media website has 1 identity for everything on it.
> linking professional conversations and casual conversations
You know you can alt accounts right ?
I edited it in later. I felt an urge to say it, because it is an aspect of reddit that often goes unappreciated.
r/askhistorians is pure gold. Hobbyist subreddits are extremely valuable - discussions are polite, to the point, high-quality posts get consistently upvoted. r/coronavirus and r/COVID19 have been pivotal in making sense of the situation in early March (though r/coronavirus turned into a parody of the former self once Covid started spreading in the US). r/nottheonion or r/gaming are often hilarious.
There are three important steps to turn Reddit into a useful tool:
- Unsubscribe from the subreddits you find toxic
- Learn to use 'Sort by Top - this week/day'
- On PC, visit old.reddit.com instead of reddit.com. On mobile, use a third-party client like RedReader or Appolo
I recently subscribed to r/AskElectronics and I have been amazed at the supportiveness of the community. Every time I've posted a picture of some stupid noob mistake I made, I get a deluge of responses helping me understand in detail what I did wrong, along with some good-natured stories of people remembering when they made the same mistake. It's lovely, I'd bake every one of them a pie if I could.
I watched this happen first hand. It went from being a solid scientific discussion and sharing of information to being another part of Reddit's control system for public opinion. It just underwent that transformation faster than most subs do because of the impetus of the pandemic.
There's a setting that makes it so you default to the old UI, whether you're on old.reddit.com or just reddit.com.
For anyone who didn't know about the extensive rss features of reddit: https://old.reddit.com/wiki/rss
3. Comments are structured as a tree instead of a flattened list, and nodes at the same level are sorted by popularity
Old-school message boards met the first two requirements, but I think the third characteristic is a huge improvement over trying to pick the discussion out of the multiple simultaneous flamewars with which it was interleaved on comp.lang.lisp or any of the old phpBB. On a hobby subreddit generally the top reply and its highest-ranked comment chain are on-topic and informative.
Its biggest competition now is probably something like Facebook Groups, but Facebook is constantly trying to push you towards real-name-focused, location-aware stuff, and its implementation of a comment tree is pretty half-assed because at the end of the day it wants you scrolling a feed, not lingering on a heavily-ramified comment tree. At the moment my wife and I use Facebook for neighborhood groups and Reddit for hobby subreddits (and memes).
I also just don't think your average hobby forum topic is something requiring much nuance or complexity. It's not a philosophy journal, it's someone asking a bunch of internet strangers if they've ever tried using an Arduino for hydroponics and how it went.
1. Sign up once, log in everywhere
2. Follow and interact with all of your communities (and groups of related communities) all on the same platform.
3. Better UX for browsing/scanning and text-oriented conversations (no avatars/signatures, collapsible threads) than traditional bulletin boards.
4. Greater sense of interactivity and participation through upvoting, with a natural flow towards posting. First you read logged out, then you make an account just to upvote and downvote a few things, and finally you make a comment or two. Again, lacking an analogue in other platforms.
No other platform has even come close to this except HN, and HN is still one community, not a network of easily-cross-linkable thousands.
To disrupt Reddit 7 years ago you just needed to recognize this and do the same thing but better. To disrupt Reddit now, IDK good luck, inertia is real.
And Reddit's UI design is truly terrible. I know it's for fitting in more ads, but going from seeing 20 posts per page, and an ad mixed in, to see 2 (sometimes even 1) post that may be an ad is insane.
Some really batty and bigoted stuff gets upvoted all the time, but IMO the platform is overall very left leaning. It can be pretty inconsistent.
Communities like HN are better, but elsewhere on social media it can get really bad. Digg was horrendous. I don't think I saw a single unpopular opinion not get buried into oblivion. Then I switched to reddit and it's that solid 50-75% I mentioned. You might have to pander or sugar coat it, but you can get the idea out there. It was a big improvement. I think reddit is a cesspool for other reasons.
Reddit strikes me as being well in to its post-spam usenet phase. Instead of being drowned in blatant spam, it is drowned in noise.
A recurring complaint I've heard from friends - experts on narrow topics - is that particular subreddits around a given topic are just dominated with incorrect information. This isn't political. It isn't opinionated. It is topics that may have ranges of correctness, but posters are just repeating things that are completely wrong - as if they have no personal experience in the subject.
That is a big problem. If you were to look at various more political and activist subreddits (including banned ones that migrated elsewhere), the conclusion may be that many reddit user's lives are far worse off with it. When the blind are leading the blind off the side of a cliff, the outcome is predictable.
If Toyota and Kitchenaid started selling dead bloated racoons with their respective badges on them people would still be buying them 20yr from now because a bunch of people on Reddit (who already bought in based on prior Redditors' commentary) and don't want to feel like fools) told them to buy that brand.
It's no different than any other company selling out its brand name.
I fully agree that the userbase is just politness colored lipstick on the old 4chan pig (every "platform" where riff raff from one niche can easily show up and crap all over another niche has this problem) but that doesn't really impact their ability to make money as a business.
https://i.imgur.com/YwHTQWa.png: I have highlighted what actually matters to me as user.
There's just so much noise in this new UI. All I want to see is the title, the source, the subreddit the post belongs to, how many comments it has, and MAYBE the upvote count. Put all the navigation stuff in a hidden drawer - it doesn't need to be on the screen all the time and let me switch off these silly awards (or at least tone them down). The rest of the screen is taken up by elements that simply don't need to be on the screen all the time. The search bar can be put in a menu to free up space for more posts. The thumbnails don't need to be there all the time. I don't need an immediately available button to buy Reddit coins / awards. The new awards system (while lucrative) is a complete eyesore and often takes up as much space (if not more) than the title of the post itself.
I cannot express how grateful I am that HN as opted to remain with this simple UI. It's all we need.
Now, to answer your original question: the value Reddit provides is having a single account for all my communities, instead of registering to umpteen PhpBB. This allows for a much more efficient antispam. Also more efficient ads, so they do have a business out of this.
I agree about reddit's value being elusive. AFAIK this is because it arguably isn't so valuable. They don't seem to monetize excessively. It's not like Facebook that really feels like an advertising and data shilling firm. There's just a jpeg on the side panel. I imagine they sell some data, maybe even pay to win? (or they will soon)
Reddit is very valuable in that it essentially controls society and "influences" people's behavior. It remains to be seen how much of that can be turned into money, and how it'll effect the site. I wouldn't be shocked to see another exodus, sale, and rebranding as a new media company, like Digg in the next 5-10 years... I wouldn't predict it, but I wouldn't be surprised either.
Because mobile keyboards are so annoying to type on length on, that has resulted in posts getting shorter and shorter, down to one-line Twitter-like replies that are almost information-free and don’t provide much of the skillsharing that people used to turn to hobby forums for. If you post a couple of solid paragraphs, the same length of text that was normal on Reddit just a few years ago, you look weird and out of place among the one-line posts. You might even get some mockery: "haha wall of text bro".
I would love to leave Reddit entirely and return to the phpBB forums of yore where substantial conversation could continue. The problem is that Reddit has eaten their userbase, leaving only a handful of elderly people or cranks, and the feeling of a ghost town.
Then people act like they're totally pwning you by not participating in conversation (which is fine, but then just STFU). This is something I do for fun. It's a hobby, I don't care about the time. No need to be a jerk about it. They probably kick over people's sandcastles, too.
Checking out what people in /r/country suggests for turists before you visit is pretty valuable. So is advice in /r/slowcooking, /r/yourhobby and so forth. Basically it allows people to create communities even if they have on technical skills.
Definitely the same experience here. Holding a conversation on reddit is usually not a pleasant experience. There's tons of great information on reddit, but it's a diamond in the rough sort of situation.
This has already been said, but needs it's own dedicated comment.
In isolation one might think this comment is sarcasm, but seeing it in context in the article it seems genuine enough. If so, the author has likely never used Reddit, so it's odd to be calling on them to write an article on it.
A little bit of research shows the author seems to be known for selling a few companies I've never heard of pretty early on after they've been founded, so I guess their main expertise is exits. One would still think they would've used Reddit once or twice though...
I find myself accidentally tapping something that either opens something new or closes what I was looking at. The back button behavior is bad with the post pop overs. The home page doesn't even preserve scroll position when going back from a post (Safari iOS)!
It is not a website I visit regularly anymore. Someone should do a github1s equivalent for reddit, even if it is read only.
I've never used the app but I presume it is a lot better than the mobile website.
The Reddit app’s push for live-streaming and their recent acquisition of DubSmash makes me suspect they’re looking to compete with TikTok as well.
I guess one of the reasons why reddit is so popular is that it doesn't really work for this commercial stuff too well (and their website also breaks down from time to time). It's as charming as the cat gifs we watch on it.
And don’t forget the massive astroturfing, corporate bots, paid off moderators, and karma system that is designed to be addictive.
It’s definitely undervalued in terms of how great of a place it is to sow division and push people to more extreme political thoughts.
After an entertaining George Carlin introduction, the section "r/Value" says boldy and starkly "$6 billion? That’s it?"
Sounds like $6 billion is just chump change compared to the real value of Reddit, right? I can't wait to read more...
If you make it to the last section, "r/GalaxyBrain", you come face to face with "The Galaxy Brain moves to take it to the next level"
Are you ready to go to the next level? Here it is:
"Reddit should make it easy for subreddits to pay-gate their community, sell merchandise (physical and digital), and post jobs."
Did I miss something?
It comes down to the fact that Reddit isn't really a social media site - it's a link aggregator with the trappings of social media, or a slightly fancier network of forums (fora? fori? I forget the declension...). I think it is perfectly valued, and fits a niche that maybe only Pinterest comes close to filling. If it tries to expand its social media elements, it will be trying to be something it isn't and users will respond accordingly (one would hope).
I think it'd be "fora" in this instance. I'm judging this from the word "medium/media" and I know how many linguistic exceptions Latin had, though, so I'm probably wrong.
On a desktop or a laptop when you visit reddit.com it still resets to their card layout every time unless you login and you still have to click through twice to get to comments even if you explicitly click the comments link. Majority of my usage was logged out and that was not going to change.
Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook are also bad about this. Being logged out is dissatisfying on those sites, so I rarely visit them and don't like when they're returned in search results. HN, Flickr, Pluto.TV, YouTube, Zoom and others don't punish you so much for that.
Reddit’s enduring quality comes from its supporting of a basic platform that allows continuous growth of some niche subreddits until they ‘fail’ and scare away its core users, having those core users found new niche subreddits which themselves go mainstream and ‘fail’. Rinse repeat.
r/WallStreetBets was an enormous social media success story but I have huge doubts that Reddit could give a team the job of unbundling that sub without that team poisoning the magic.
The “meaningful upgrades” I thought were pretty solid.
HN always moans about reddit, they've moaned about it for near a decade at this point, it still just grows bigger.
Now, are those the people you're talking about? No idea, I haven't seen who you're referring to and it'd be case-by-case. But point being, the existence of "ex-Redditors" isn't necessarily a bad thing.
but I think they'd decline hard if they turned off old.reddit e.g now.
I wonder if this has anything to do with the "downvoting comments I don't like" phenomenon that seems to have taken over HN these past few years.
I own quite a few subreddits. Maybe I'm a future power user.
The old guard typically dies before the new generation can thrive. Until they leave they tend to actively gatekeep keep potential competitors out.
I am fine with hearing "Maybe you will finally get to build your own garden, at last, Doreen." God knows the past decade has been pure shit for my online social life, which stands in stark contrast to when I routinely had real friends online, met them in person, got meaningful help with my health issues, with raising and educating my kids, etc etc.
Seems to me like either you become the #1 and stay there ie Facebook; or you make a complete disposable cluster'fk ie 4chan. There does not seem to be room for a middle ground.
Having said that, Conde Nast is busy screwing it up just like they screw up everything they own. Time for a truly open distributed alternative.
As it stands, I find reddit’s award system nice in principle, but in practice it feels so obnoxious that, ironically, I paid for a third-party client that smooths over the UI weirdnesses and hides this layer. But it ultimately remains a layer on top of things that can be hidden. Change that up, and it becomes something the user can’t ignore, and you risk damaging community at the expense of profit.
Getting ads to work isn’t easy. It’s very competitive space, and barrier to entry is really high (you won’t get serious money spent with you, if you don’t deliver ROI).
While Reddit does provide a lot of unique utility, as a business its is still questionable.
With paid-off moderators, astrosurfing and propaganda I'd say it's unethical at best.
If you make the search functionality work efficiently then it is easy to see that many common questions on hundreds of subreddits have already been answered in detail so that anyone who can find that post only needs to engage long enough to read one post and its comments.
If search works, there is less need for anyone to become a redditor and to remain engaged with the site. It becomes like a blog post that gave you the information you needed but offered no incentive to read earlier entries or to subscribe for updates.
So, if Search really worked a majority of the time, there would be less need for new posts and therefore less user engagement and fewer eyeballs on the ads they push.
New users come because they heard that there is a subreddit where lots of knowledgeable people discuss the product, hobby, etc that they are interested in.
Subreddits in general are that bomb pizza joint that everyone raves about where the pies are burned at 600* in a wood-fired oven to produce that awesome thin crusty goodness with just the right amount of char. Reddit itself is the soggy disappointment that you get when the middle of the slice slumps flaccidly on the way to your taste buds because the vegetable pieces were too thick and moist and under-cooked for that delicious thin crust to support.
The highly focused subs are the crust, the main subs are the disappointment.
EDIT: Downvoted. Pretty funny. I have been a redditor since 2006. Reddit today is a fantastic but disorganized accumulation of the knowledge and experiences of people from all over the world. Search has never worked reliably though they have had more than a decade to fix or improve it. That's all the evidence that I need to conclude that broken search is a feature intended to drive new content creation. Functional search would make many new posts and comments unnecessary.
This would apply similarly to google/TurboTax/Colleges Vs.MOOCs as well
These are all awful ideas.
Are we now approaching metameme stock?