Reddit’s looking to connect more users to content relevant to their interests via a new Discovery tab in the app, which builds on the current Communities tab to provide customized subreddit recommendations, based on your usage.
As per Reddit:
“Today, we’re rolling out our first new surface in nearly two years - the Discover Tab. This new navigational tool provides redditors with an engaging way to more easily find content and communities across Reddit.”
As you can see in the above example, the new Discover tab is more visually focused, with images representing each community, which will ideally invite more users into these sub-groups, highlighted in the tab relative to their usage.
“We’re able to tailor each redditor’s Discover Tab to surface what we think they’ll enjoy the most. What we show is based on communities they’re already a part of as well as time spent. For example, if a redditor subscribes to and spends a significant amount of time in football and baseball subs, Discover Tab will prompt them with other sports-related content.”
How refined, and accurate, those matches are will go a long way in determining the true value of the new surface, but it could be a good way to find more relevant communities and discussions, and get people spending more time in the app.
Indeed, in its initial testing, Reddit says that one in five users joined at least one new community after using the Discover Tab.
The new Discover tab will be accessible via a new compass icon in the bottom function bar in the app, which will replace the current shapes icon that represents community search.
In addition to this, Reddit’s also adding a new ‘Community Drawer’ UI, which will make it easier to switch to different subreddit communities.
“By swiping right or tapping the drop-down menu at the top left on the home screen, redditors can get to their communities and custom feeds faster than before.”
That puts more focus on each individual community that you’ve joined, and will serve as a reminder of the various topics that you’ve expressed an interest in, which could also help to maximize usage.
Reddit recently tested a version of this with some users, and it seemed to function pretty well.
Reddit’s still in the process of re-shaping its community, and really, re-building its structure, after the great subreddit cull of 2020 eradicated many of the platform’s most toxic discussion groups. Thousands of subreddits were erased in the cull, a move that alienated many users, and while Reddit hasn’t published any official, comparative numbers, it does seem that Reddit’s overall usage has taken a hit as a result.
In December 2019, Reddit reported that it had reached 430 million users, but then a year later, in December 2020 – six months after its subreddit clean-up – it switched that reporting to daily active users instead, of which it now claims to have 52 million regular users that are logging into the app every day.
But that’s a big discrepancy in daily and monthly users. For comparison, Facebook currently has 1.9b daily actives, and 2.9b monthly active users. That’s a more familiar usage split, with the daily and monthly usage stats not way off of one another. Another example – Snapchat has 319 million daily actives, and 500 million monthly users.
By this logic, right now, Reddit would seemingly only have around 100 million monthly actives, which is a big change away from the 430 million MAU that it was reporting two years ago.
We don’t know, of course, because Reddit completely shifted its reporting strategy, and it hasn’t shared comparative monthly numbers since. But the assumption would be that it’s not seeing 4x the amount of people logging in each month as those that are checking the app out daily.
Which means that the cull, designed to improve brand safety, and maximize its ad potential, has had a significant usage impact, and Reddit’s now looking to add in new tools and options to help reignite that growth in order to help it take the next step.
Improved discovery is a part of this, while Reddit users are also increasingly engaging with video content, which this new, visual format also leans into.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Reddit can boost that daily active count, and how it can also build its business around its newly structured app. There’s a lot of value in the platform, and a lot of potential engagement - and maybe, by better showcasing this to its active audience, that will be a significant step.