Reddit weighs new video feature with “reactions” for use in its online discussions – TechCrunch

Reddit is exploring the idea of ​​bringing more user-generated video content to its online discussion forums, the company has confirmed. Not much has yet to be decided about this potential new video feature – which hasn’t been released for testing, we should note. However, we understand that this may involve the use of TikTok-like video editing tools, including specifically the ability for people to “react” to videos posted by others by adding their own video to someone else’s.

The ability to combine videos from different people became popular on TikTok through features called Stitches and Duets, which have since been adopted to varying degrees by TikTok competitors, including Instagram’s Reels and Snapchat’s Spotlight.

However, in Reddit’s case, it’s not necessarily about building its own TikTok competitor aimed at YouTubers like other big social giants have done, but rather creating a video tool that continues Reddit’s mission to give its users the Provide opportunity to participate in discussions on issues they care about. Today, many of these discussions on the Reddit site are in text form, but video reactions could add a new layer to these online conversations. (To be clear, video is already supported on the Reddit platform, but video reactions – similar to Stitches – are not.)

The company will reach out to various communities known as subreddits to see if they’re interested in exploring videos this way. In particular, it will look for specific communities where it thinks the video feature could be a good product customization. But these community tests have yet to begin.

“In line with our work to help people engage with the issues that matter to them through social audio, video, text, memes and more, we’re in the process of reaching out to a few Reddit communities to see.” whether there’s a new video feature we’re working on is something they find useful and entertaining,” a Reddit company spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch. “After receiving feedback from Redditors, we will investigate an initial test for this new feature,” they noted.

The potential “Reactions” feature in the new video project was first spotted by iOS developer Steve Moser. Other video editing tools could also be part of the tests, including those for adding effects, filters, and stickers to videos with music, among others. Some of these features were added to the Reddit Camera app last November as part of Reddit’s ongoing video efforts.

In December 2020, following the acquisition of TikTok competitor Dubsmash, Reddit signaled its interest in further expanding into video. The company retired the app this year after initially working to integrate the startup’s video-making tools with Reddit. As part of this integration, Reddit announced that it will introduce new camera features, including the ability to set a timer and change the recording speed, use effects, add voiceovers, trim and adjust multiple clips, and more. Reddit users today can access these video features through the New Post tool, then select the video option and select “Camera” to record a video.

Additionally, last summer Reddit tested a TikTok-like video feed on its iOS app that, when tapped, displays a stream of short videos in a vertical feed. Users can positive, negative, comment, gift or share the video from this feed and then swipe up to see more.

None of these projects are directly related to the upcoming video test, which is focused on exploring a new use case for video on the platform. But the underlying video technology acquired from Dubsmash would be involved.

Since this product is still in an extremely early stage – not even in alpha testing – a lot can still change. There is also a chance that Reddit’s communities will show no interest in testing such a video product and the idea will be scrapped.

The video feature appears to be inspired by TikTok, which already allows creators to join discussions via video comments. And this functionality was subsequently cloned from other social apps like Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. But perhaps video discussions on Reddit are more in line with an idea proposed by an early 2000s startup (which was clearly ahead of its time) called Seesmic, which once theorized that people refer to posts, blogs, and other text-based content would respond by leaving videos comments. What’s old is new again, it seems.

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