Big Change Coming to Reddit

Technology > New Technology

Photo by: David Guo via Flickr


Native video uploading and hosting is being rolled out for all Reddit communities after a test run in about 200 Reddit communities across the web.  

Every Reddit user can now share and upload their videos without going through a third party.  Prior to this update, the Reddit community needed to get videos that they uploaded to another site and subsequently post the link to Reddit.  

The new feature is available on both mobile and desktop Reddit versions.  Pre-recorded videos, as well as videos shot through the Reddit app, can now be upleaded on the spot (after you give the app access to your camera).  Keep in mind that videos must be in either MOV or MP4 formats, and they have to be under 15 minutes long.  Users can also make gifs out of their videos with the new MPV converter tool.  Another top feature allows for editing of your 15-minute videos to highlight certain parts.  

At the core of Reddit is their base of communities, so the company decided to create a feature for watching videos and commenting simultaneously.  Reddit users can scroll comments while watching a miniaturized version of the video on the top of the page; meanwhile on the mobile version the video stays on the top of the screen and comments are below throughout.  

According to the Reddit blog, user experience is one of the main reasons for its new native video hosting. It was previously a hassle for users to post a video to Reddit, and the viewing experience wasn't seamless.  Reddit made the same kind of change last year with images when they cut ties with its longtime partner, Imgur, in favor of native image hosting. Native image and video hosting make it easier for users to upload and share content to their favorite subreddits, and in turn, cuts the amount of time users spend on third-party sites.  The latter is tantamount to advertising revenue.  According to Variety, Reddit has already been experimenting with different types of video advertising; however, at the moment new native videos posted to the site won't have any ads on them.  

Emon Motamedi, Reddit’s video production manager, said the company won’t rule out pre-roll and or other types of video advertising in the future.

Reddit's new addition comes just days after Facebook launched Watch, its new video platform showing original content.  However, Facebook Watch will only be allowing select entities to post videos on Watch, at least on the initial run.   

Reddit said via blog post: "We found that the most engaging types of video weren’t coming from popular users trying to establish their individual brands, as you might see on other platforms... Instead, our video adopters so far have been creating and sharing videos to engage within their specific Reddit communities, as an organic extension of conversations already happening on each subreddit."

During the 200 community trial, Reddit found that its users prefer participating in the native video to extend conversations rather than building their own "individual brands."

Also, an advantage Reddit may have with advertisers is the fact that it’s entirely community-based in which the subreddits become easy targets for advertisers.