They have also made many of the subreddits not viewable via a mobile browser pushing you to the app, it seems though the blocks go in and out of effect. At some point metrics of a sites app downloads don't mean anything when they make their primary site unusable.
I deleted an unofficial Reddit app from my phone, since I found I was wasting too much time on it. I figured for the occasions I wanted access to reddit (mostly from searching for topics on Google), I’d just use the web version.
But the web UI, combined with Google AMP, made it unusable.
I’ve gone back to the app but with iOS screen time restrictions.
That is until they become even more greedy and ban third party apps. Probably by the end of next year. The reasons will be 'privacy of users' and 'letting users access reddit via a unified interface'. Or some bs like that
As an ad-supported service, I wouldn’t be surprised if Reddit refuse to serve clients that don’t show ads. On the other hand, I don’t think their API that Apollo is using includes ads. Same deal with third-party Twitter clients. I wonder if their are examples of similar ad-supported services that included ads in the API, and required the developer of the third-party client to implement ad support?
Reddit should make an API feature to allow the 3rd party app, the ability to display the ads. Then, Reddit will do profit sharing of each ad shown. This would give the 3rd party app incentive to maintain the app.
I agree. The new UI is utterly obnoxious on mobile - they keep trying to force me to use the app, including making it impossible to read the rest of a forum without using the app instead. It's horrible.
I also find the new UI to be awful on desktop. Just disastrously slow. I hardly use Reddit anymore part of it the community and me just having different priorities but the other part is this new Mobile first mentality. I’ll use old.Reddit.com until they finally kill it.
The new version of reddit bogs down FF to where I have to restart if I want to keep scrolling. This is on a TR3960X with 64GB of memory. I haven't checked the resource manager when that happens but I probably should.
1. Why are they forcing me to use their app so much? it's just not practical: for example if I quit the app and come back it doesn't return me to the page I was looking at; worse it often doesn't display comments for me (infinite loading).
2. Why is the web redesign so bad? Who are they trying to cater for? There's just so much friction in reading comments from multiple posts now, when I click on a post to read the comments an then outside it scroll back up to the beginning. Why can't I read comments if I'm not signed in?
I prefer old reddit for the same reason as you, I like to read and comment. But I can tell you who they are catering to: People who scroll through subreddits scanning photos. If you go to meme focused subreddit, the new version is pretty good. If you go to a discussion focused subreddit, the old version is better.
I fucking hate it. The redesign is actively harmful to the quality of subreddits. It makes the subscribers the ones who dictate the content, not the community members. The vast majority of subs don’t participate in any meaningful way, they just upvote the funny picture in their feed, haha, while the people who frequent the subreddit and dictated most of the content prior to the redesign are completely disenfrachised. I’ve seen a bunch of subreddits go down the shitter because low effort memes and blog posts-like pictures conquered the front page after the redesign.
I understand it in the sense that I can conceptualize it. I just have a hard time believing it is really best for business. They determine how much money they make per user and find that signed in users make more money. Signed in users on their mobile app (users inside of their walled garden) make the most money. If they lose a couple users trying to convert everyone to using their mobile app, so be it.
Having an account and using their mobile app makes it easier to track you, easier to show you ads and likely worth more per advertisement.
> There's just so much friction in reading comments from multiple posts now, when I click on a post to read the comments an then outside it scroll back up to the beginning.
It's much more bearable if you always open posts in a new tab (I'm talking on desktop; on mobile use a third-party app). You can configure it in the feed settings. Then the view is very similar to old Reddit, and you keep the posts list unchanged.
They are catering to children, literally. I've been using the site for a few years and have noticed more often than not when a set of comments seems especially naive its because I've been talking to teenager.
I can't tell you the number of times I thought I was having a meaningful conversation only to find out, after asking, that the user was a kid.
Old reddit is still superior to hacker news. It was the perfect forum. Now it's a social media laced whale driven place filled with a single viewpoint. To the point that negative comments don't even show up anymore.
Mobile is just the name of the game. I don't get it -- I can't stand browsing the web on mobile versus a laptop -- but when you look at the metrics, it's hard to argue against optimizing for that channel.
You would very much enjoy browsing Reddit via i.reddit.com if you haven’t already heard of it. Lightweight, fast, minimalist, web. It’s missing some newer features like chat messaging but it gets the job done quite well otherwise. And it’s ad free!
There is a grocery chain store in my country and since ordering food is kind of hot this year, they started accepting orders and deliver groceries. Via an app. They have an app for this. You can't order anything through their website, you have to use your tiny surveillance rectangle for that.
1. Status customization. Apps and games based on communities have proved that this business model can bring lots of $$$, the whole idea is to let users customize the way they appear to others in exchange for money. Think "skins". I've heard even discord does it.
2. Competition platform. Trade will always flow if things work well, but how can people trade on your platform? Allow people to produce themes and plugins for communities, and create a marketplace for customizing your own community. Then take a cut.
Not really. Reddit infrastructure and product development has been subsidized by hundreds of millions in VC funding for almost a decade. At this point they don't even need a good product to stay at the table. Meanwhile to compete you need moderation tools, highly performant and reliable caching infrastructure for media rich content, enough of an ad network the investors believe you can eventually build an ad network, and to sell you soul to investors to buy marketing to keep people around long enough to gain critical mass.
Social Media isn't about innovation anymore. It's about buying a stake and rent seeking. And guess what nobody is going to sell you an acre to get started just because you feel like giving it the college try.
>subsidized by hundreds of millions in VC funding for almost a decade
That hasn't stopped any company from total collapse before and it won't now. Other social media sites have people somewhat locked in since it's all about staying in contact with friends and following certain people. You need to push the entire crowd at once to have a good replacement, but those sites still die when they screw up enough. Reddit's a place where people mostly read comments, see some funny pictures or news, and then go about their day. There's a lot less keeping people from dropping it and moving on.
Or maybe you shouldn't care about those infra stuff for now and just bootstrap it and let the community grow organically. Also, when reddit started more than a decade ago, scaling infra was hard, but in 2020 we have a lot of off-the-shelf tech that allows you to build "web-scale" app relatively easily, but all of that is moot if you can't grow the community, so why bother at this early stage?
I'd argue that the following are fundamental changes that have impacted the community in a big way:
- Selling 10% of the business to Tencent/Chinese investors
- Firing their community managers in 2015 and not replacing them
- When I first joined Reddit it was more technology focused, now it's all pop culture and memes. Although Tech subs are still plentiful so it can still be that site. (With some effort)
- Banning any Sub-Reddit's that go against whatever the admins mood is on a particular day, or content that no longer fits with their "We have shareholders and need to keep them happy" mantra. Reddit is absolutely not a place for free speech/uncensored discussions these days. Because of both toxic mods and horrible admins.
- Huge increase of censorship across the site in Sub-Reddit's, Posts and Comments
- Users care about the video stuff because Reddit's video hosting is fundamentally broken and hardly works, but they would rather keep it broken because it makes it harder to download videos (DASH)
- The whole new design is anti-user, the site is just masses of white space, super slow, JS heavy and pretty much unusable outside a third party mobile client. The day old.reddit.com gets shut down will be a sad day.
None of this stuff was a problem 14 years ago
Although some of the above comes with the toxicity that tends to come with huge community growth.
You can argue the above isn't significant, but as someone who's been on the site for 14 years, it sure ain't the same place I signed up for all those years ago.
> The whole new design is anti-user, the site is just masses of white space, super slow, JS heavy and pretty much unusable outside a third party mobile client. The day old.reddit.com gets shut down will be a sad day.
On desktop the new design is much easier to use, it took me awhile to realize, but being able to hit esc and be right back where you were in the story feed is super nice.
One of my biggest gripe is forcing Reddit to their mobile app, which is filled with bugs. I've had a bot posting a daily Calvin & Hobbes strip for seven years. The comic is posted as a gif, and so many people using the Reddit mobile app have complained, I basically had to write a FAQ for it.
Not so much incompetent but I get the distinct impression that they have way too many developers trying to add features to something that, going by the way old.reddit.com has barely changed, was feature complete about 5 years ago.
Is this a good thing? Of all social media, Reddit seems to me like it has the most potential to actually do something positive for society. They’ve seriously been dropping the ball with execution in the past several years but I don’t know that we’d be better off with them disappearing without a better alternative.
I find it impossible to believe that at all. The new Reddit UI is essentially just a reskin. The Digg "redesign" was an entirely new concept that radically changed the purpose of the site. The two aren't comparable at all.
Maybe we’re just not the target audience for reddit anymore. I’ve spoken to spoken to zoomers who use reddit and their response is that the “new UI” is all they’ve used and they like it because everything is embedded in the same page and scrolls like their twitter/facebook/instagram feed.
Nothing, but I go to xkcd.com for that. IMO, the only valid use of reposting xkcd is when the thing you're posting is pertinent to the conversation. Like if somebody's among the lucky 10,000 who hasn't heard of nerdsniping until today.
Considering the new UI regularly takes up literally takes up 100% of my laptop's CPU, it would mean I would have just stopped using Reddit. Last time I tried it I couldn't even scroll without all sorts of yanking.
Their video player is probably one of the worst I've experienced. It  requires me to hit play twice to get a video to actually play almost 100% of the time.  the audio frequently defaults to max, then adjusts to the level I've previously selected.  It frequently auto plays if I've scrolled down the feed a ways, and  frequently only plays 50% of the video and restarts or locks up.
Give me plain HTML, minimal CSS, and a template engine any day of the week.
The old web placed HTML and CSS as primary, and used JS for incidental tasks like form validation, or fixing up the back button. The big idea was "graceful degradation": sites were expected to work without JS, at the cost of (say) a server-side error instead of immediate feedback.
Modern reddit does not gracefully degrade: it requires JS to click buttons, to load images, to scroll, etc. Old reddit still works well without JS. So does Google for that matter.
Also, it would be basically impossible to host comment threads on video content if the video reset every time you submitted a comment. By comparison, Twitter's video experience is still awful in that you can't multitask and join the conversation on a video tweet.
The principle that site designers need to start abiding by is to not reinvent the browser--there's no need to use JS for routing or single page apps. The browser does that fantastically already. All that's needed of JS is to add asynchronicity to pages that need to update state without interrupting a running service.
Plain HTMl, minimal CSS, and a template engine aren't quite substitutes for event driven systems that also drive really nice features. On the other hand, I recently was testing my website on Brave and a simple request from my frontend to the backend (which resides in the same container) was rejected as a tracking script even though I know it doesn't do any tracking that I've implemented.
I was really hoping WASM might fill this gap, and it still might, but it'll be a while from what I can tell.
Between Reddit’s heavy-handed censorship, rampant site wide political biases, their terrible new UI, the dark patterns forcing users to the app, unexplained bans of subreddits, overzealous mods, and deletion of discussions of Reddit alternatives (https://www.reddit.com/r/RedditAlternatives/comments/hib1oj/...), it is time for them to go the way of the dodo.
Parler is ranked highly because it was recently popularized on centrist and conservative media as an alternative to Twitter. That rank is misleading - it’s not necessarily the best because it is newer than some of the others, and it isn’t meant to be a direct Reddit alternative as much as a Twitter alternative. Some of the others like Ruqqus or Saidit are more of Reddit’s direct competitors.