Reddit is quietly rolling out a TikTok-like video feed button on iOS – TechCrunch

From Instagram’s Reels to Snapchat’s Spotlight, most social media platforms are looking toward the TikTok boom for inspiration. Even Reddit, a discussion-based forum, is making short-form videos more pronounced on its iOS app. According to Reddit, most iOS users should have a button on their app directly to the right of the search bar — when tapped; it will show a stream of videos in a TikTok-like configuration. Users can upvote or downvote when presented with a video (which shows the poster who uploaded it and the subreddit it’s from).

Comment, gift an award, or share it. The user interface of the videos isn’t new — Reddit has been experimenting with this format over the last year. Like TikTok, users can swipe up to see another video, feeding content from subreddits the user is subscribed to and related ones. For instance, if you’ve subscribed to r/printmaking, you might see content from r/pottery or r/bookbinding. But before, this manner of watching Reddit videos was only accessible by tapping on a video while scrolling through your feed — rather than promoting the discovery of other communities, the first several videos recommended would be from the same subreddit.

Image Credits: Reddit, screenshots by TechCrunch

“Reddit’s mission is to bring the community and to belong to everyone in the world, and subsequently, Reddit’s video team’s mission is to bring community through video,” a Reddit spokesperson told TechCrunch about the new addition. “Over the last year, our goal was to build a unified video player and re-envision the player interface to match what users (new and old) expect when it comes to an in-app video player — especially commenting, viewing, engaging, and discovering new content and communities through video,” they noted.

Reddit doesn’t yet have a timeline for when the feature will roll out to everyone but confirmed that this icon first appeared for some users in late July and has continued to roll out to almost all iOS users. But by placing a broader yet still personalized video feed on the home screen, Reddit is signaling a growing curiosity in the short-form video. In December 2020, Reddit acquired Dubsmash, a Brooklyn-via-Berlin-based TikTok competitor. The terms of the deals were undisclosed, but Facebook and Snap also reportedly showed interest in the platform, which hit 1 billion monthly views in January 2020.

Reddit declined to comment on whether or not its new video player is using an algorithm to promote the discovery of unique subreddits based on user activity. However, a Reddit spokesperson confirmed that the company would use Dubsmash’s technology to develop other features down the road, though they said not for this particular product. Reddit first launched its native video platform in 2017, which allows users to upload MP4 and MOV files to the site. Then, in August 2019, it launched RPAN (Reddit Public Access Network), which lets people Livestream to the r/pan subreddit — the most popular live streams are promoted across the platform. Reddit currently attracts 50 million daily active visitors and hosts 100,000 active subreddits.

Katie Axon

After leaving the corporate world to pursue my dreams, I started writing because it helped me organize and express myself. It also allowed me to connect with people who share my passion for art, travel, fashion, technology, health, and food. I currently write on vexsh, a site focused on sharing and discovering what it means to be a creative, passionate person living in today's digital age.

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