New Feature Offers First Major Improvement to Reddit (possibly ever) and Not a Lot of People Cared (yet)
When Reddit posted information about new features on its blog, the buzz results were ho-hum. The post itself was bland, starting off with the nonchalant statement, “We added a handful of new features last night.” There was brief coverage at some quality sources, including Wired (which is owned by the same company as Reddit), ParisLemon, and MarketingPilgrim, and only a handful of blog posts, but for the most part, this short private beta has snuck in while Digg revolts, makes peace, and makes headlines.
Upon a close examination, this may be a huge leap forward that infuses more of a social aspect into Reddit. For present and future users, it should be the toy that gets played with for a long, long time.
The Twitter-style 140 character explanation of the change is:
You will be able to make three kinds of reddits: public, restricted, and private. You can moderate your subreddit for content and users.
Pretty simple. Pretty clever. With people wanting more or better social news sites in their playground, Reddit may be able to increase membership and retain current members.
As with all new toys, the sheen will eventually fade, but just by examining the Reddits created in the first few days since going beta with it, it’s clear that the feature will help add more personality to a site that has needed features added for a while.
Here are some of the user-generated Reddits that piqued my interest:
- None of the Above – Not everything fits into something. Anything can fit into this one.
- Recipes – The Subreddit for Emeril. BAM!
- Whine – Got a complaint? Like to cry? Here you go.
- Tasers – Yes, the popular accidental-death weapon now has its own Reddit.
- Presidential Election – What would Reddit be if it didn’t talk politics?
Pound for pound, this is probably the best change made at Reddit since… well, ever. There will be abuse that pops up regularly and I’m sure there are glitches, but a short, 1-2 week beta testing infers that they know they have a great new feature on their hands.
It might just put Reddit more prominently on the social media map. There have been doubts and criticism as of late with every new gadget, tool, or feature that pops up on other sites. This may be the feature that trumps them all.
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