Reddit dropped a big announcement on Sunday: It is going to start offering public profiles to its users –a feature that takes a cue from other social media giants like Facebook and Twitter. In what seems to be its biggest change in recent years, users of the self-coined “front page of the internet” will be able to post content directly to their own profiles (not just communities) and follow other individuals’ pages.
“We’re making this change because content creators tell us they have a hard time finding the right place to post their content,” Reddit said in its announcement. “We also want to support them in being able to grow their own followers (similar to how communities can build subscribers).”
The new design looks very similar to what we would find on other social media sites, with a profile photo, a banner image, and a list of recent posts. But, of course, there are some key differences between Reddit’s user profiles and those of the other platforms.
While there will be a place for users to put a profile picture, Inverse reports that the pages will be consistent with the platform’s focus on anonymity. This means that those photos do not necessarily have to be an actual photo of the user. As has always been the case, Redditors’ names will also never be attached to these pages.
At this point, the first profiles are currently available only to three people, including founder Alexis Ohanian (pictured above) and Hector Janse van Rensburg, better known to the Reddit community as u/shitty_watercolour. Gizmodo was able to obtain a screenshot of the van Rensburg’s profile which can be seen below:
The site says that the new profile page will roll out to more users in the coming months.
Reddit News: What The Community Had To Say
The announcement generated a mix response from the Reddit community. Some feel the new feature “undermines the strength and importance of communities on the site” while others see its addition as an “encroachment on the site’s core functions,” comparing it to “Digg v4.” We can recall that the rivaling news aggregator site’s 2010 overhauled version caused much of its user base to abandon the platform.
Ohanian himself told Digg founder Kevin Rose in an open letter that the new design and features “departed from the core of Digg” which he noted was to” give the power back to the people.”
“Wouldn’t making their own subreddit accomplish the exact same thing? Seems benign either way but there is a lot of overlap,” said one user.
“I fully support this change. Hopefully, this shitty site is dead by Christmas,” said another.
Despite the criticisms, there were others who feel optimistic about the change. One Redditor pointed out that “It gives people a place to post their stuff without breaking all of the self-promotion rules that Reddit has.” The site has long established a strict policy to prevent users from using the platform for marketing their own work.
What do you think of the latest Reddit news? Is the addition of user profiles a good idea? Sound off in the comments section below!