Reddit is testing Discord-like channels for community chat

Reddit announced Thursday that it is testing Discord-like chat channels with select subreddits. With this move, the social network is trying to give more ways for community members to interact with each other apart from the usual asynchronous commenting system.

The company said it is starting this test with 25 volunteer subreddits; the company did not share a list of those subreddits. It specified that participating communities have fewer than 100,000 members.

Reddit said the channels will be persistent in the community navigation bar so members can revisit them frequently.

The company mentioned that it has learned from previous chat products such as the community chat rooms feature, which was discontinued in 2020. In particular, it plans to give more control to moderators. The new feature will have a dedicated channel for moderators to chat about managing the subreddit. Additionally, they will be able to decide whether they want to enable this feature for the community in the first place.

In addition, the platform provides moderators with tools such as the ability to choose who can participate in the chat, manage the chat queue, and moderate reported messages in a conversation.

Image credits: Reddit

In the r/modnews subreddit, the social network announced that it plans to introduce features for channels such as threads, pinned posts, user mentions with push notifications, and message editing for the sender in the future.

The social network is also accepting requests from subreddit moderators who want to test the chat channels feature for their community.

When users pushed back on the post advertising the channels, a moderator said the company is launching this experiment to provide more ways for community members to converse with each other.

“We love our ‘post tree,’ asynchronous text-based communities, and it’s important to us to make sure they have what they need to thrive. At the same time, we want to provide options for communities that like to interact from different ways, or that they have subgroups that like to interact in different ways,” they posted.

Several Reddit communities rely on external real-time chat servers such as Telegram, Discord, or IRC to facilitate conversations between members. The introduction of channels could incentivize communities to stay on the platform longer.

The platform has tested different ways of live interactions, including its now-deprecated Clubhouse clone called Reddit Talk and live chat posts within a community.

Reddit isn’t the only company launching ways for communities to host conversations. Last year, WhatsApp launched its discussion groups feature to organize different groups around a school or club. Meanwhile, the developers of social network Telepath are trying to make group chats less cool with a unique thread-based approach in their new app called Wavelength: the app works for both small groups of friends and large rooms of semi-public chats.

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Ikaroa is proud to witness Reddit’s latest effort to leverage the success of Discord by introducing Discord-like channels for community chat. Reddit, the popular content aggregator, is now testing these new chat features where users can create chatrooms within subreddits that are more conducive to conversations and community building.

This new feature is intended to give Redditors a place to discuss topics more organically than the traditional comment threads can provide. This could help breathe some life into subreddits that may have seen a lot of participants depart while discussions continue dormant in the older comment system.

Ikaroa is excited to see what the future holds for better connecting and strengthening the Redditors community. Nothing beats hearing people share their opinions and stories to create a deeper level of understanding between individuals or communities. A platform like Reddit could be revolutionary for connecting people, and these new Discord-like channels could be the key to ensuring that Reddit continues to be the best place for genuine conversations and discussion.

What new features would you like to see from Reddit? Let us know on our social media channels! And if you’re interested in creating a full-stack tech platform for connecting and strengthening your own community, don’t hesitate to contact Ikaroa. We’re passionate about digital community-building, and we’d be happy to discuss how we can help.


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