Reddit introduces new live features to better engage users

The launch will allow users to see how many others are typing or reading the same posts

Reddit has launched new live features in order to feel more engaging. Photo: Reuters

Reddit has begun releasing several new features aimed at making the platform livelier and more “in the moment”.

The updates include a voting function and comment count animations, as well as typing and reading indicators.

The aim of the new features is to increase engagement across Reddit, the platform said.

“'If other redditors know other redditors are viewing the same content, will users be more likely to contribute?’ The answer: yes. This creates a better user experience and makes Reddit a platform that is engaging with rich media and real-time capabilities,” the company said in a statement.

Thanks to the new voting and comment count animations, voting will no longer be a static number in feeds and posts. Comment count animations will receive the same treatment, going up as more comments on posts are shared in real-time.

Meanwhile, users will be able to see how many other people are engaging with the same post though the typing and reading indicators. The function acts by showing when two or more Redditors are typing to comment within posts, with an anonymised avatar near the comment box. The function does not reveal the name of the redditor commenting.

In a similar manner, reading indicators will note when five or more are reading a post by displaying grouped anonymous avatars at the top of comment sections in posts.

There’s also a new comment “pill” function that pops up when new comments are being submitted to a post being viewed. When a redditor clicks on the new comment indicator, the comments will be sorted by new and highlight live comments in real time.

The launch of new features began on December 1, across iOS and Android devices.

“These are all new ways for redditors to interact and engage with the platform and over 100,000 active Reddit communities,” Reddit said.

The new features are on a par with those its rival platforms – including Facebook – have had for some time.

Although Reddit has been popular for years and has grown a niche fan base, it’s trailed behind other social media platforms in terms of development.

The latest features mark a big change for the platform, which previously had no live information on topic pages and threads.

Updated: December 4th 2021, 9:20 AM