31 votes

Reddit Reinvents the Chat Room with Subreddit Chat

58 comments

  1. [20]
    39hp
    Link
    Oh great, now we can get bigoted comments in real time!

    Oh great, now we can get bigoted comments in real time!

    34 votes
    1. [14]
      Parliament
      Link Parent
      Who moderates the chats? Anyone? Is this going to be even more of a burden on already overworked volunteers that are vital to reddit's success?

      Who moderates the chats? Anyone? Is this going to be even more of a burden on already overworked volunteers that are vital to reddit's success?

      11 votes
      1. [12]
        Deimos
        Link Parent
        Yes, moderators are expected to moderate the chats as well. This didn't go over very well when they first announced it here:...

        Yes, moderators are expected to moderate the chats as well. This didn't go over very well when they first announced it here: https://www.reddit.com/r/modnews/comments/8g22a6/subreddit_chat_rooms_beta_has_been_released_to/

        22 votes
        1. [8]
          Amarok
          Link Parent
          I'm looking forward to the day they make chats non-optional (and kill old.reddit.com). That will make a hell of a lot of mods quite livid... being forced to moderate juvenile slap-fights in...

          I'm looking forward to the day they make chats non-optional (and kill old.reddit.com). That will make a hell of a lot of mods quite livid... being forced to moderate juvenile slap-fights in real-time with no tools and no help. I expect a lot of teams will simply resign and walk away. Reddit wouldn't even last a week if half of the mod teams went on strike... it'd become 100% spam on the front pages overnight.

          20 votes
          1. [3]
            frickindeal
            Link Parent
            And we have to take it to the inevitable dark place: whole subs with bizarre names will be created to share things like CP in private chat. If only the mods can see it, they can make the sub...

            And we have to take it to the inevitable dark place: whole subs with bizarre names will be created to share things like CP in private chat. If only the mods can see it, they can make the sub itself invitation-only, and use reddit's platform to do whatever they want. I know this is probably possible on a great many other platforms, but with reddit's push towards advertiser-friendly content, they may not want a big story to show up about people using reddit for such things.

            7 votes
            1. [2]
              Barskie
              Link Parent
              That sounds like a slippery slope argument. Chat softwares like Discord and IRC have already existed for many years, with better functionality. Others like Snapchat/4chan benefit from additional...

              That sounds like a slippery slope argument. Chat softwares like Discord and IRC have already existed for many years, with better functionality. Others like Snapchat/4chan benefit from additional features such as anonymity. Hypothetically if I were to intentionally distribute CP, I wouldn't go through all the hoops you just mentioned. Reddit would not be the ideal platform.

              Might there be such things popping up? Perhaps, but that is where strong admin action will be required, with such subs being a blatant breach of Reddit's TOS. The introduction of chat does nothing to change this.

              6 votes
              1. frickindeal
                Link Parent
                I base it on the fact that reddit was a very popular platform for underage/creepshot/jail-bait type content, and supposedly still is if you know the right links and the right people to get invited...

                I base it on the fact that reddit was a very popular platform for underage/creepshot/jail-bait type content, and supposedly still is if you know the right links and the right people to get invited to private subs. All unverified, of course, but such chatter generally has a basis in fact. Chat isn't AFAIK monitored by admins, at least not that I've seen them admit (although I suppose they'd be able to access rooms if something was reported).

                2 votes
          2. [2]
            ProfessorRiffs
            Link Parent
            I agree with all of that except getting rid of old.reddit.com. I absolutely hate the redesign.

            I agree with all of that except getting rid of old.reddit.com. I absolutely hate the redesign.

            2 votes
            1. gtwillwin
              Link Parent
              Reread his comment. He's saying he's looking forward to those things so he can see the shitstorm not because he thinks they're good ideas.

              Reread his comment. He's saying he's looking forward to those things so he can see the shitstorm not because he thinks they're good ideas.

              4 votes
          3. [2]
            anti
            Link Parent
            I sincerely doubt it. Reddit wouldn't be much different at all. The bulk of reddit mod work is voluntary curation. The amount of actual spam we see is...not that much. People act like mods make...

            it'd become 100% spam on the front pages overnight.

            I sincerely doubt it. Reddit wouldn't be much different at all. The bulk of reddit mod work is voluntary curation. The amount of actual spam we see is...not that much.

            People act like mods make reddit what it is, but what really makes reddit is a. lively comments and b. karmawhoring content posters.

            1 vote
            1. Amarok
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              In my experience, 95% of mod work on reddit is removing off-topic content, most of it spam or promotion of one kind or another. Most of it is handled by automoderator whitelists/blacklists (for...

              In my experience, 95% of mod work on reddit is removing off-topic content, most of it spam or promotion of one kind or another. Most of it is handled by automoderator whitelists/blacklists (for example, preventing music from being posted that isn't coming from legit streaming sites) and by bots handling edge cases in the rules, usually aimed at blocking reposts and repeat offenders. If the mods go, most of that goes with them.

              Just as an example, you can kiss the music subs goodbye. Instead of links to streams, it'll turn into links to people embedding streams on their blog sites trying to drive up their own traffic. Usually those blogs/sites have embedded ads and sometimes even malware. It's basically click-jacking the music content. I'm sure that behavior isn't unique to music topics.

              Lose the mods and the bots the mods have created, and the signal to noise ratio will go to hell overnight. Now, most of this crap content won't get any votes, but it will make the /new queue into a pile of garbage, leading to a lot less people voting there. The only traction will come to content that's being intentionally bumped via vote manipulation - aka spam/paid promotion. When the signal slides like that, most honest contributors don't feel like they can compete with it and will stop posting or take their efforts somewhere else where it doesn't have to compete with the large volume of crap content.

              It's a negative-feedback loop... one that has repeatedly killed online communities for decades across every community-driven platform. I sincerely doubt reddit is immune to this cycle.

              6 votes
        2. [3]
          Parliament
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Well at least it's opt-in... I guess. What's the definition of insanity again?

          Well at least it's opt-in... I guess. What's the definition of insanity again?

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            arghdos
            Link Parent
            At least, we've opt-ed out. Bye reddit :/

            At least, we've opt-ed out. Bye reddit :/

            15 votes
            1. Parliament
              Link Parent
              Looking forward to my opt-out celebration this Friday.

              Looking forward to my opt-out celebration this Friday.

              3 votes
      2. Pilgrim
        Link Parent
        Well considering that companies will soon be able to run their own subreddits, I doubt that they'll be volunteers anymore. Probably more likely interns.

        already overworked volunteers

        Well considering that companies will soon be able to run their own subreddits, I doubt that they'll be volunteers anymore. Probably more likely interns.

        10 votes
    2. [3]
      mendacities
      Link Parent
      Reddit already has an IRC network, Snoonet. And while there aren't channels for all the hate-filled subs, there are more than a few.

      Reddit already has an IRC network, Snoonet. And while there aren't channels for all the hate-filled subs, there are more than a few.

      8 votes
      1. Flashynuff
        Link Parent
        Snoonet is not an official Reddit IRC. It just happens to be focused exclusively on Reddit.

        Snoonet is not an official Reddit IRC. It just happens to be focused exclusively on Reddit.

        4 votes
      2. J-Senior
        Link Parent
        Most people haven't heard of Snoonet though, whereas the new chat is even built into the official app. With more people using it those last few hate chats will probably come into existence

        Most people haven't heard of Snoonet though, whereas the new chat is even built into the official app. With more people using it those last few hate chats will probably come into existence

        3 votes
    3. delicious_grownups
      Link Parent
      Lol nothing like having your hatred instantly. That reminds me, my new site, Instahate, is dropping soon

      Lol nothing like having your hatred instantly. That reminds me, my new site, Instahate, is dropping soon

      2 votes
  2. [18]
    talklittle
    Link
    https://variety.com/2018/digital/news/reddit-community-chat-rooms-1202822388/

    https://variety.com/2018/digital/news/reddit-community-chat-rooms-1202822388/

    The reason for expanding into messaging and group chats is pretty obvious to anyone who has spent a bit of time on Reddit: A growing number of Subreddits now run their own chat rooms on Discord, a chat service popular with video gamers.

    The company acknowledged as much when it first announced community chat rooms, writing: “There are also a bunch of subreddits that are more organically social in nature, and right now they need to leave Reddit to create the experience they want.” Ultimately, Reddit wants to keep those interactions on its own site, rather than having its users flee to third-party platforms.

    23 votes
    1. [11]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      Yeah, it's basically the same reasoning as why they've added image and video hosting, why the redesign sends you to the comments page (instead of the link destination) when you click a post title,...

      Yeah, it's basically the same reasoning as why they've added image and video hosting, why the redesign sends you to the comments page (instead of the link destination) when you click a post title, and so on. Ideally they don't want people to leave reddit at all.

      35 votes
      1. [5]
        Parliament
        Link Parent
        Wow, I didn't know this. I just messed around in the redesign, and even when you click the content itself (e.g. a photo) rather than the post title, it still takes you to the comments. Yuck.

        why the redesign sends you to the comments page (instead of the link destination) when you click a post title, and so on. Ideally they don't want people to leave reddit at all.

        Wow, I didn't know this. I just messed around in the redesign, and even when you click the content itself (e.g. a photo) rather than the post title, it still takes you to the comments. Yuck.

        17 votes
        1. [4]
          frickindeal
          Link Parent
          Yet you'll see it defended over and over on r/beta and r/redesign. "Many of the posts are self-posts," "The comments section has become the heart of interaction on reddit," etc. Yeah, it's the...

          Yet you'll see it defended over and over on r/beta and r/redesign. "Many of the posts are self-posts," "The comments section has become the heart of interaction on reddit," etc. Yeah, it's the heart of interaction, but that interaction should be about the subject of the post, which should be content. Self-posts are only dominant on certain subs; on others, the vast majority of the content is outside content. It's a fundamental change to the design that brought them to huge popularity -- I'd never mess with that if I was an admin there.

          14 votes
          1. [3]
            delicious_grownups
            Link Parent
            I think most people won't even notice if they're using mobile apps like Reddit is fun

            I think most people won't even notice if they're using mobile apps like Reddit is fun

            3 votes
            1. [2]
              Neverland
              Link Parent
              I wonder how long 3rd party apps will have freedom to exist and do what they want.. like get free API access and not show ads.

              I wonder how long 3rd party apps will have freedom to exist and do what they want.. like get free API access and not show ads.

              13 votes
              1. Deimos
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                I'm not speaking from any sort of inside knowledge at all, but I don't think they'll allow it for much longer. Their strategy so far seems to be not providing an API for new features (like chat)...

                I'm not speaking from any sort of inside knowledge at all, but I don't think they'll allow it for much longer. Their strategy so far seems to be not providing an API for new features (like chat) so that you can only access them on the official apps, but most people don't care much about the new features, so I doubt that's been very effective.

                They've started to try some more aggressive methods recently—the official apps now generate links to posts using a reddit.app.link domain instead of normal reddit.com ones, and these new links only work in the official app. If you don't have it installed, trying to follow the link will take you to the official app in the app store instead of to the post. This basically makes it so that if official app users post/share reddit links, they only work for other official app users and try to force anyone using different apps/browser to install the official app to be able to see the link. @talklittle (the dev of Reddit is Fun) posted about this last week.

                Eventually though, I imagine reddit's going to miss some targets on their advertising numbers, and some exec is going to think, "wait, third-party apps aren't showing our ads properly, and if we just shut off the API we could get 50 million more ad hits per month?" And that'll be the end of that.

                10 votes
      2. Kiloku
        Link Parent
        Same mindset that Facebook has.

        Same mindset that Facebook has.

        5 votes
      3. [4]
        JustABanana
        Link Parent
        To be fair, I can look at the photo without leaving reddit and comments are what matters so I actually like this change

        To be fair, I can look at the photo without leaving reddit and comments are what matters so I actually like this change

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          Parliament
          Link Parent
          It's not always a photo though. What about reading a full article? I never open images anyway since I have Imagus, but it's still a pain in the ass to go through a Share menu just to copy a link...

          It's not always a photo though. What about reading a full article? I never open images anyway since I have Imagus, but it's still a pain in the ass to go through a Share menu just to copy a link to the content.

          9 votes
          1. [2]
            JustABanana
            Link Parent
            Fair point, I stand corrected

            Fair point, I stand corrected

            3 votes
            1. Parliament
              Link Parent
              You can remain seated if you like.

              You can remain seated if you like.

              8 votes
    2. [6]
      DonQuixote
      Link Parent
      The few times I've delved into Discord I've gotten out, annoyed with the way it imposes itself into my system.

      The few times I've delved into Discord I've gotten out, annoyed with the way it imposes itself into my system.

      2 votes
      1. [5]
        clone1
        Link Parent
        Can you elaborate on this?

        Can you elaborate on this?

        5 votes
        1. [4]
          Prometheus720
          Link Parent
          Discord Rich Presence detects apps that are running on your computer so that your friends can see what you're playing. Games don't "announce" to Discord that they are running. Hell no. Discord...

          Discord Rich Presence detects apps that are running on your computer so that your friends can see what you're playing.

          Games don't "announce" to Discord that they are running. Hell no. Discord "checks" to see what games are running. Games can integrate to be more specific and make sure Discord sees the correct thing--this is common, and some emulators are actually trying to make it so that the game you are playing rather than the emulator shows up on Discord.

          This is not a feature which can be disabled. You can disable showing it to people. But Discord still sees what you have running.

          18 votes
          1. [2]
            Neverland
            Link Parent
            Wow, that's crazy. I just use the webapp. I had no idea how invasive the desktop client was.

            Wow, that's crazy. I just use the webapp. I had no idea how invasive the desktop client was.

            4 votes
            1. Prometheus720
              Link Parent
              I have the desktop client--I found this out long after I downloaded it. I'm very much tempted to just use the webapp now.

              I have the desktop client--I found this out long after I downloaded it. I'm very much tempted to just use the webapp now.

              2 votes
          2. 235789012983
            Link Parent
            I am assuming this is with the Windows client? Does anyone know if this differs from a linux installation? I assume it would still run something similar to detect programs running.

            I am assuming this is with the Windows client? Does anyone know if this differs from a linux installation? I assume it would still run something similar to detect programs running.

            2 votes
  3. [2]
    Gecko
    Link
    Just another step away from the Unix principle and towards ensuring a user stays on their site 24/7. It's sad to see how many sites turn themselves into an attention hog for the possibility of profit.

    Just another step away from the Unix principle and towards ensuring a user stays on their site 24/7.

    It's sad to see how many sites turn themselves into an attention hog for the possibility of profit.

    20 votes
    1. Amarok
      Link Parent
      Reminds me of that old adage about any program eventually being forced to evolve into a full operating system. Online platforms seem similarly compelled to become the only destination on the...

      Reminds me of that old adage about any program eventually being forced to evolve into a full operating system. Online platforms seem similarly compelled to become the only destination on the internet, and lock their users inside.

      I blame the profit motive for both. :P

      15 votes
  4. [4]
    clone1
    Link
    I think this feature makes sense for Reddit. A lot of communities are small and close knit~ perfect for a chat room environment. Of course, I doubt that their chatroom solution is any better than...

    I think this feature makes sense for Reddit. A lot of communities are small and close knit~ perfect for a chat room environment.

    Of course, I doubt that their chatroom solution is any better than an irc or discord server.

    14 votes
    1. [2]
      OriginalBinChicken
      Link Parent
      Slack and Discord are just IRC with fancy skins and more emojis. This will work for many smaller communities, but the bigger ones will be un-joinable due to spam and trolls. Not sure how I feel...

      Slack and Discord are just IRC with fancy skins and more emojis.
      This will work for many smaller communities, but the bigger ones will be un-joinable due to spam and trolls.

      Not sure how I feel about this overall still.

      8 votes
      1. MacDolanFarms
        Link Parent
        And a built-in bouncer.

        Slack and Discord are just IRC with fancy skins and more emojis.

        And a built-in bouncer.

        1 vote
    2. Barskie
      Link Parent
      I agree. The interactions in many community subreddits are often outsourced to subreddit Discord servers. This is merely Reddit's attempt to fill that niche amongst their users, with a possibly...

      I agree. The interactions in many community subreddits are often outsourced to subreddit Discord servers. This is merely Reddit's attempt to fill that niche amongst their users, with a possibly lower barrier to entry for non-Discord users.

      Whether they will succeed depends on how well they can replicate key Discord mechanics, or introduce new ones that tie into Reddit itself. Personally, I doubt they will.

      3 votes
  5. [5]
    316nuts
    Link
    In theory, I think the idea could be kinda fun. But I'm already getting inundated with notifications, new rooms, etc. Do I really need to subscribe to 500 subreddits, each of which are creating...

    In theory, I think the idea could be kinda fun. But I'm already getting inundated with notifications, new rooms, etc.

    Do I really need to subscribe to 500 subreddits, each of which are creating 1-5 rooms? I can't (and don't want to) keep track of it all.

    I'm already getting notification fatigue from mod mail, new modmail, chat, messages, toolbox, modqueue etc.

    Chat rooms get weird quick, too. Too slow = boring. Too much going on = leave immediately.

    12 votes
    1. [4]
      EightRoundsRapid
      Link Parent
      I have just shy of 10k unread notifications from various reddit chats at the moment.

      I have just shy of 10k unread notifications from various reddit chats at the moment.

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        clone1
        Link Parent
        Do you automatically join the chatroom for every subbreddit you're subscribed to?

        Do you automatically join the chatroom for every subbreddit you're subscribed to?

        1 vote
        1. EightRoundsRapid
          Link Parent
          I don't think so. I got invited to some test chatroom thing in the early days, and a couple of others. I haven't really paid much attention to it since it was first launched.

          I don't think so. I got invited to some test chatroom thing in the early days, and a couple of others. I haven't really paid much attention to it since it was first launched.

          1 vote
        2. 316nuts
          Link Parent
          No, but it gives you a bunch of suggestions and those suggestions clog up space when you pop it out to its own window it looks and feels much nicer. when it's the embedded browser mini-window it's...

          No, but it gives you a bunch of suggestions and those suggestions clog up space

          when you pop it out to its own window it looks and feels much nicer. when it's the embedded browser mini-window it's a mess for anything more than a room

          at least it works pretty well through the mobile client

  6. quacker
    Link
    Not sure about this... Traditionally, Reddit had a few ways to facilitate more real-time communication, but these were limited, Live threads would provide updates on high-intereset / high-impact...

    Not sure about this... Traditionally, Reddit had a few ways to facilitate more real-time communication, but these were limited,

    • Live threads would provide updates on high-intereset / high-impact events (like Hurricane Harvey), but those are few and far-between (I see no live threads currently at https://www.reddit.com/live/happening_now/ for example). Reddit live isn't something I've seen any communities utilize frequently.
    • Most subreddits use a "megathread", which is just a regular thread, stickied to the top of front page of the subreddit. If you sort comments by new and refresh, it's like a poor man's chat room (highly active threads default to sorting comments by new, actually).

    As a redditor, I usually don't want real-time communication. I use reddit mainly as a news source because it's actually good at filtering/ranking content I want to see. This is what has made reddit so successful (in addition to its active and well-developed communities).

    Broadly, moving ranked and filtered content from threads into unranked and less filtered chat rooms seems like a bad idea. But limited use of real-time chat to supplement discussion on reddit would work well. For example, when submitting a thread, you could have the option of creating thread-specific or topic-specific channel(s) in the chat room. These channels would have a limited lifetime (maybe a few days to a week) and would then be archived. Ideally, this would be moderator controlled, so moderators can approve and are aware of any created chat channels so they can be properly moderated (if desired). That way you have the real-time discussion only when it's really needed.

    (But I get the point of this is to keep users off external sites.)

    9 votes
  7. [2]
    JustABanana
    Link
    Imagine if reddit worked with discord to integrate discord into reddit... that would be a great feature!

    Imagine if reddit worked with discord to integrate discord into reddit... that would be a great feature!

    3 votes
    1. Tetizeraz
      Link Parent
      Yeah, I don't think that chat is inherently bad, I've met a lot of great people over Discord. Discord is simply a lot better than Reddit, with a lot more features than the current chat. The huge...

      Yeah, I don't think that chat is inherently bad, I've met a lot of great people over Discord. Discord is simply a lot better than Reddit, with a lot more features than the current chat. The huge amount of bots also help in moderating chat. If you ban a guy, all his messages in the server are gone. You can "prune" messages (so you can easily delete ~50 spam messages, for example). And some people just love their fishing games on chat lol

      8 votes
  8. Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    This article feels like a sales pitch, rather than an analysis. But I'm not buying. Chat rooms are a moderator's nightmare. Sorry, Reddit.

    This article feels like a sales pitch, rather than an analysis. But I'm not buying. Chat rooms are a moderator's nightmare. Sorry, Reddit.

    3 votes
  9. [4]
    Neverland
    Link
    I was in the chat beta prior to sub-specific rooms and it made me think of a feature: Random Chat. Sort of like Reddit Chat Roulette. Just stick me in a random chat room to expose me to people...

    I was in the chat beta prior to sub-specific rooms and it made me think of a feature: Random Chat. Sort of like Reddit Chat Roulette. Just stick me in a random chat room to expose me to people with whom I would not normally speak. And play with the matchmaking, maybe truly random is not ideal. I still think most redditors are not a-holes, it's just that the a-holes are loud. In a small group setting I thought the numbers would lead to a decent experience most of the time. If you don't like a group, just click Random Chat again, and go to another non-sub related chat. I suggested it and admin ggAlex said they had trialed it internally and it had legs, so they would explore further. I wonder what happened to that idea, I thought it might be an April fools thing.. or just die. I wonder if it just died.

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      That's kind of similar to reddit's April Fools event in 2016, "Robin": http://www.businessinsider.com/reddit-robin-what-it-is-and-how-it-works-2016-4

      That's kind of similar to reddit's April Fools event in 2016, "Robin": http://www.businessinsider.com/reddit-robin-what-it-is-and-how-it-works-2016-4

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        clone1
        Link Parent
        In retrospect, that whole thing was probably a testing ground for reddit's chat feature.

        In retrospect, that whole thing was probably a testing ground for reddit's chat feature.

        3 votes
        1. Parliament
          Link Parent
          Nothing at reddit is ever planned two years in advance.

          Nothing at reddit is ever planned two years in advance.

          10 votes