Reddit remains in an ongoing state of turmoil, following the platform’s recent unpopular decision to increase the price of its API access (cutting off various popular third-party apps), while it’s also removing Reddit Gold, another well-liked community connection process.
So what better time to launch its latest community art project, which will enable Reddit users to share their thoughts on a giant digital canvas?
Yes, Reddit’s r/place digital art project is back again, with the latest version of the user-generated work launching this week.
r/place enables Reddit users to contribute individual pixels on a larger, community-built canvas, with the eventual outcome being a digital mosaic that represents the expanded Reddit community.
Though given the ongoing user unrest, I suspect the final image this time around could be slightly tainted by angst.
Which Reddit itself also seems aware of, with the latest r/place launch being delayed six times due to its other controversies. Even so, Reddit’s keen to push ahead, maybe in the hopes that r/place can serve as a solidifying moment for the broader Reddit community, bringing everyone together after the misunderstandings of the recent past.
It seems optimistic, but maybe, possibly…
This year’s version of the project also has one particularly notable upgrade, better mapping to help align communities on collaborative displays.
As per Reddit:
“By pinning coordinates to your subreddit, you can create an entry point in your sub that users can use to find you on the canvas. This will be visible at the top of your community only on New Reddit and the mobile apps (iOS and Android). You’ll be able to edit or remove those coordinates at any point during the event. Just navigate to the area on the canvas you want to pin, click the pin icon on the top right of the canvas and select the subreddit you wish to pin to those coordinates. On this screen, you’ll also be able to delete pinned coordinates by clicking the trash icon.”
So you’ll be able to guide members of your chosen subreddit communities to where they can contribute their own pixels in a collaborative visual, which will help Redditors build more visible protests within the image.
But it should be fine, it should go off without a hitch.
Yeah, I suspect the final outcome won’t exactly be what Reddit wants, but it’s happening now, after the various delays, with Reddit management seemingly willing to live with whatever comes next.
It remains to be seen what the ongoing impacts of the latest Reddit protests will be, and whether it’ll lead an overall decline in user engagement. But that does seem likely, given the disputes with volunteer moderators, who power the site.
The debate has actually highlighted a key flaw in Reddit’s system, in that it’s overly reliant on third-party management which it can’t control, and that could see the company eventually shift to a more AI or internally managed process for keeping subreddits going, even if individual mods decide to stop work.
Maybe that’ll eventually give it a more stable footing to build from, as it looks to build its business. But till then, you can expect the dissatisfaction among Reddit users to remain a talking point.
Which could well dominate this year’s r/place project. You can keep an eye on the evolving pixel placements here.