Since TikTok took the U.S. and a few other countries by storm other social media channels have been scrambling to follow suit. Instagram released Reels and Snapchat released Spotlight. TechCrunch said that Reddit launched a video button on the right side of the search bar on their app, for most of their iOS subscribers, on Friday. A simple tap on it shows a stream of videos, similar to TikTok.
The videos accessed from the Reddit site shows the person who posted the video as well as the subreddit it belongs to. Users can
- up vote
- down vote
- comment on the video
- gift an award (using Reddit’s in-app currency).
Another feature similar to TikTok allows Reddit users to swipe up and find similar subreddits to which the iOS user has subscriptions as well as those that are similar to it.
Reddit had already promoted videos for users who accessed them by tapping them when scrolling through their feeds. However, there was no promotion of videos, nor could users find similar videos or related ones. All the videos that users were able to view earlier belonged to the same reddit.
A Reddit spokesperson told TechCrunch that their goal was to build a unified video player. They had also re-envisioned their player interface to add features that allowed users to comment on content. They noted that users could discover new content as well as engage with communities.
Reddit had rolled out its first video platform in 2017 when users could upload MOV and MP4 files. In August 2019 it debuted Reddit Public Access Network (RPAN). This network allowed people livestream to select subreddits. In July 2021, Reddit expanded its video offering to include commenting, engagement, awarding and building communities.
Reddit recently acquired Dubsmash, arguably TikTok’s biggest competitor but said that it has not been involved in the current feature that has recently debuted on Reddit. However, its acquisition of the Brooklyn-via-Berlin based app which had 1 billion monthly views early this year in January, signals that it will further foray into videos.
A spokesperson also told TechCrunch that Dubsmash’s technology would be used for the development of other features in future. Reddit has about 50 million daily active visitors. The platform hosts 10,000 subreddits that are active.