It seems that in the past few years that Reddit has been heralded as the holy grail of the Internet. A Redditor once described the the collaborative platform as being the Internet’s personal water cooler, while another user described it as similar to being in a big room full of any idea that someone could imagine. The way that Redditors idealize Reddit as social platform would make any non-user assume that this was some form of exclusive Social Media utopia.
However, imagine if someone had the desire to check out Reddit for the first time. Maybe you, the reader, have never experienced the Reddit universe before. In the words of Reddit co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman “(We’d like to fix that) when those new people decide to check out Reddit for the first time that they are (not) greeted with a dystopian Craigslist.”
In WIRED’s 2018 article “The Inside Story of Reddit’s Redesign”, (which can be seen here), Reddit in its first incarnation back in 2005 represented the rebellious and anarchistic side of internet, where “a place where you could do and say whatever you wanted so long as you can figure out how to get in”. Redditors who have been on the site since its formative years claim that the site’s “obtuseness is part of (Reddit’s) appeal…if you can figure it out, you get to be apart of the club”. Reddit’s dystopian atmosphere for the outcasts of the internet is a perfectly meshed fit. The dystopia is the utopia for the anarchists and rebels of society.
On the other hand, in Reddit’s current incarnation, the platform has become this sort of hive mind collective about any single topic you could ever imagine. Through the evolution of Reddit as a community platform, it has required the website itself to be redesigned from the ground up. Reddit’s redesign has allowed the platform to become more accessible to potential new members, welcoming in new opinions and ideas that did not have a place to call home once before.
What is your opinion on Reddit’s redesign? Let me know in the comments below.