Reddit has launched new chat channels that allow users to have real-time discussions with each other. These Discord-like channels are located within subreddits and allow you to switch between browsing posts and chatting about various topics with other Redditors.
Reddit notes that while this feature may seem similar to its Live Chat, chats will be “dedicated spaces” rather than “one-off posts.” For example, you can access different conversations embedded within a subreddit with each one dedicated to a particular topic such as “Tickets,” or “Songwriting.” Alternatively, you can also access the main Chat tab in Reddit’s bottom menu bar.
For now, the feature is only available on select subreddits and mobile. Reddit is currently testing chats in 25 “small to medium-sized communities”, which have less than 100,000 users. It plans to expand chats into other subreddits over time.
It’s not the first time Reddit tried to integrate chat into its platform. It launched a chat feature for community rooms in 2018, but later rolled it back due to a lack of interest. It first tried adding chat rooms and again by 2020, but removed the feature after only one day because of a bug which caused the Begin Chatting button to appear on all subreddits. Reddit admitted that it had made “several mistakes” in the rollout, and left moderators unable to moderate the chats.
Reddit claims that things will be different this time. It’s announcing a “mod first approach” that is based on the “past Chat lessons learned.” This includes giving mods access to their own chat channels, and tools for them to moderate chats.
In an article on r/modnews the platform goes into more detail, stating that mods will have the ability to flag and remove chat content as well as decide which users are allowed to participate. Reddit also says that it is working on several other moderating features, such as a way to have mods implement automod rules and a mode to make it easier for busy chats to be kept in check.