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Reddit app got 50M downloads by making mobile web experience miserable (androidpolice.com)
710 points by alborzb 15 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 609 comments



Recent reddit app discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24208958 (650 comments)


I genuinely wonder if the people in charge of Reddit ever come around to places like this to read these sentiments. Hell, they actually only need to read actual Reddit posts to understand that many people are utterly disgusted by their tactics to try and force you onto their mobile app, they're upset at how slow the (default) site is, etc.

Maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe people will keep using it forever. But I doubt it. They've turned Reddit from something that had potential to exist for a long time into something closer to TikTok (which, even without the current drama, was never going to be more than a fad IMO). There are more efficient ways to get low-effort shitposts and memes than Reddit. Those who want that will move on, and the people who were interested in more than that are leaving now.


I have come to the conclusion that reddit is 2 apps/websites.

The first is a tiktok-esque waste of time, instant gratification meme machine. Everyone on this app uses the reddit native app and doesn't care about dark patterns. They would never know that reddit's app is shit, because they literally don't care enough.

The 2nd is a Hackernews-esque collection of hobbyist sub-forums. These people are invested in their hobbies and sub-reddits. They use reddit to interact and discuss, but also a source of niche-news for their hobby. Every one here has a 3rd party reddit app or uses RES. (if you don't, please do). Unlike twitter, reddit lets 3rd parties offer feature complete wrappers for reddit. This group has ad-block, but will occasionally give someone gold. This group hates reddit, but also has no where to go.

If a person tries to make reddit both, then it is an annoying experience. I use reddit entirely as the latter. The front-page and r/all are garbage to me. Every super popular (barring sports) subreddit is trash. But, my niche subreddits are literally the best places on the internet to gain niche information.

Examples where the subreddit is the best source of open discussion on the internet for that niche: dota2, manga, soccer, metal, prog, civilized discourse, history, male fashion (kinda), calisthenics, small cities, fantasy fiction, niche YT channels, super authentic cooking....and that's just for me.

PSA : Use a 3rd party reddit app (SYNC is my preferred. Pay up the 2$ dollars. It is worth it). Use RES, and enforce filters strongly. Use RedditProTools to detect trolls, bias and top contributors. Use Imagus (hoverzoom has malware) for pop-image/video viewer. These will greatly enhance your reddit experience.


And I think this is why Reddit won't try to cater their main app to "our crowd" (Powerusers, HN readers, etc). In a way they already have an app just for us: their API.

Reddit knows it's going to be impossible to design a single app to cater to all types of users. They know there is always going to be a group of people that complain about one feature or another so they in-turn expose the API that we can build out own. Now if a group of users has a specific workflow they like, they can build an app that will specifically cater to them.


This would be fine if they just plain and simple catered to a group. What Reddit does though is they are actively hostile to one group.

I'm somewhat in the boat the parent is. I see the incredible value in something like Reddit - or maybe the Reddit of old. Where niche communities can self police and create a space for information and content that isn't found anywhere else.

Unfortunately everything has to be monetized. The people who own Reddit want to make money and therefore they try to toe the line of using just enough dark patterns to force the tiktok group to use the Reddit app and not to terminally piss off the nice groups.


Eating the core users that got you started is pretty much the playbook for almost every Internet site that tries to win the mainstream.


And I believe Digg doing that was the start of Reddit?


Do you remember Slashdot Beta? That got me into Reddit and HN.


It was pretty bad, though I'd argue the bigger problem with Slashdot were the comment[er]s themselves. :)


Reddit was fairly popular before Digg killed itself. I remember reading about the Digg exodus on Reddit.


Yep. The same attitude and everything.

What irks me is they're selling out their business to a userbase that is just as quick to ditch them when someone makes something that gives them a faster/strong hit of dopamine.


Yahoo. Facebook.


Not everything has to be monetized. Reddit is a data store of links, text posts (EDIT: as well as images and video per FalconSensei), comments, user identities, and associated meta data. Let's Encrypt runs on a budget of $3MM-$4MM/year. OpenStreetMap's budget is a few hundred thousand dollars a year. The Free Law Project could store and serve all of PACER for a similar amount. HackerNews is hosted on a single server. You could run a clone of Reddit off of the Internet Archive if built properly.

Funding is needed, monetization at all costs is not.


I feel like your argument is making the case for "Nothing has to be monetized", rather than "Not everything has to be monetized".

Not everyone is going to share this altruistic approach to running a business. The majority of monetization probably does, plain and simply, come down to greed. But outside of that, you have ambitious people who envision so much more than what they currently offer—which may require large scale growth.

Regardless, I'm sure the majority of people's morality will be skewed when the service you offer grows to 430+ million active monthly users [0].

Each user goes from being an individual to just a single part of this mass-collective, where the difference between making $1 and $2 off each user is so mind-boggling high that it's hard to keep morals in check.

I guess there's a reason sociopaths do so well in business.

[0] https://redditblog.com/2019/12/04/reddits-2019-year-in-revie...


You're not wrong. I think there's a certain flavor of Trotsky's "Eternal Revolution" at play when you have an industry based off of zero marginal cost economics, with the battle always raging between those who can deliver on a shoestring (and are satisfied staying small) versus those who are attempting to capture the entire TAM (or the appearance of attempting to capture the TAM to pay themselves well from investor funds) and milk it for all it's worth.

The defense against sociopaths is eternal vigilence.


text posts? They store images and videos also


The best answer to this is probably the fediverse. I don't know how well it works today, but I think that's going to be the way to go now.


Unfortunately >"our crowd" doesn't make money for social networks as consumers, we sink the ads into the Pi Hole, we don't buy the virtual emoji currency, even Twitter struggled to make any money when it was just a platform for wordsmiths and that's issue with social networks targeting niche crowds. Pushing non-contextual ads on Reddit is extraordinarily hard as every subreddit is a platform of its own, so if the >"tiktok-esque" part of Reddit makes them money to sustain, I don't mind as long as they stop degrading the experience for those who are not into it.


I get your general breakdown but my issue is somewhere in between.

I never use the tiktok meme machine part of reddit anymore. As you mentioned I do have a bunch of smaller hobby subreddits that I only visit on my locked down oldreddit RES configured personal devices.

My problem comes when I'm not on my own machine/device and I'm trying to troubleshoot with "xyz question site:reddit.com" through google and get bogged down in new reddit or app reddit. It's really infuriating the way new reddit compresses threads to only a handful of magically prepicked comments out of possibly hundreds. You have to remember everytime to click to load the entire comment section just to browse the UX abomination they created.


Sync is a pretty good client for mobile, if you're willing to pay a few bucks.


> Examples where the subreddit is the best source of open discussion on the internet for that niche: dota2, manga, soccer, metal, prog, civilized discourse, history, male fashion (kinda), calisthenics, small cities, fantasy fiction, niche YT channels, super authentic cooking....and that's just for me.

With the risk of sounding elitist, for some of those topics the main subreddit is overran with pointless and repetitive memes. You'd have to go to the r/true* subreddit to get the serious, in depth discussions.


Unfortunately many of the true subreddits are now alt right havens.


Actual alt-right havens, or just... not left?

The subs I often frequent are exhausting in their claims of being overrun by alt-right types. While I'm in no way saying that there aren't politically obnoxious people (even specific users whose damn job seems to be shitposting political content), in subs like /r/seattle, just being not 100% aligned with the popular hot takes gets you labeled as alt-right. Hell even disagreeing with part of something gets you in trouble. Are you for police reform but against the rioting? You probably didn't know this about you, but you're an alt-right troll.


It's funny how I've been labelled an alt-right troll and was banned from the UK subreddit for a while, because I stated that Gandhi's statue should not have been toppled, that he wasn't a racist, that Sadiq Khan and the London mayoralty is partly responsible for high rents, etc etc. Incidentally, at the time, I was a Labour member, with a whole ton of MPs in my phone book, including the current leader, and some of whom I was so close that we invited each other to our homes. It was laughable.

But that experience and the constant name-calling against people not expressing a far-left opinion kind of soured the whole reddit experience for me. I barely look at country subs or any of the major subs now, and focus instead on niche subs, only because reddit is also a good way to get some questions answered. Especially when stackoverflow comes up short and I get downvoted to oblivion for asking supposedly noob questions, I get much more help from the respective reddit sub.


There are plenty of both extremes, what's mostly missing are moderate "political" subreddits that aren't full of SJW and cancel culture. That's why I only bother on the hobby/computer subs. They're generally fairly well behaved and neutral as long as politics doesn't come up and the better mods are good at shutting such nonsense down. I don't care if you're a biden or trump support if I'm in r/diy


r/neutralpolitics requires you to cite credible sources for factual claims and is generally quite productive in its conversations


r/neoliberal for discussion of center left politics focusing on evidence based policy.


That one confuses me because I've only ever heard the label used as a slur so I expect the posts to be like /r/EnlightenedCentrism but it's actually a boring pro-Democrat sub. Certainly not evidence-based policy, unless you consider "removing Trump" as a policy.. . which apparently is Biden's platform, so yeah it fits.


The name is a joke. Moderate democrats get labeled as neoliberals by reddit leftists so they embraced it, the sub isn't actually neoliberal. Right now there are a lot of memes, but once the election happens it'll go back to normal. You can still look at the effortposts which are pretty high quality.


And?

If you don't like those subreddits, don't visit. I'm not interested in alt right (or left;) but your 'unfortunately' seems misplaced to me.


I'll admit most of those topics are those I don't browse reddit for, so it may be different for them, but in my experience most "true"/"real"/"uncensored" versions of subs are just full of bigots who got banned from the main one.


I can't speak for the others but in the case of Dota 2 the "true" subreddit just discusses the strategy of the game itself while the main one posts memes and fan art and talks about meta topics like eSports and the microtransactions.


meta topics are what most people care about. "true dota" is a bunch of 3k players trying to give generic advice.


There are so many examples where a niche subreddit got filled with drama, and then a significant chunk split off and created another subreddit that now fights with the original occasionally. Gaming subreddits appear to be particularly bad at this.


I unironically miss forums. It was a completely different experience from post/comment based sites because everything was one thread, but the biggest thing I miss is that forums were usually pretty well moderated, smaller, and devoted to one topic.

Reddit is the de facto site for making a community on, but there's something to be said for the focused insular forums of just a few years ago.


I hate time-ordered subs. They are so inefficient. You end up being forced to read hundreds of "me too" comments with zero substance.

Voting, for all its problems of bias and agenda driven voting, eliminates 99% of the chaff that makes chrono-forums unreadable.


The issue with voting based forums is they tend to cater to low quality mass appeal comments.

More often than not an informative comment, while maybe not being downvoted, won't be the top comment. Instead, you'll see really low effort "zingers" which make it to the top. Those are further piled on with a flood of comments trying to one up each other.

So, you end up often needing really strict moderation to curtail this problem.

Chrono ordering suffers the same issue, somewhat, though it doesn't have the pile on problem (not to the same extent).


pun chain!

Take my upvote!

Here's gold for you good sir, hearty lols!


To be fair, I do get a good chuckle out of some of the pun chains...


You can hide the whole subtree with one click though.


It's a trade-off.

The Reddit/HN format makes everything time sensitive. If the post falls off the front-page, nobody will even see your comment, the discussion immediately dies. It's completely unfit for longer form discussion over time.

Sometimes you want a forum for discussion, not just a comments section of highlight reel one-liners.


Is there an algorithm that would facilitate discussion though? Regardless of time sensitivity?


Disagree entirely. Trading chronological sort for whatever drives the most ad impressions and engagements is responsible for the destruction of otherwise decent services.


This boils down to the community you are a part of.

One of the games I like to play has its own forums and they are still the best source of info compared to reddit. Discussions are surprisingly readable, though that may have something to do with the older target audience.


I agree, I can't stand them. That's why I won't use arstechnica comment section. I might look at the first few. I much prefer reddit and hackernews style


But that allows for discussion bubbles to form in this case. Contrarian views are downvoted to oblivion. Not much of an issue in HN, as it is in reddit.


You can add like buttons to posts with out it effecting the time ordering and absorb a bunch of me too comments that way.


Another solution to this is discussion wikis.

Originally I was more in favor of phpbb style forums and anti likes/favorites/upvotes but I've abandoned that attitude.

I really think it's the same as it ever was. If you want to find quality you need to start with your interests and then find a community from there. Discovering a huge community and being frustrated or upset that it's not catered to your preferences is a mistake. The lower the barrier to entry, the lower the quality of the forum will be.

And it's important to remember barrier to entry isn't just technical knowledge. Barrier to entry could be something as obvious but unspoken as writing style. Even as I'm typing this comment I'm aware that using my "hacker news voice" with all of the attendant style rules that make it fit with the community.

*edit: also I'm sorry to see that you are being downvoted because I get your sentiment


There is also a large NSFW scene on reddit.


It's pretty wild that the largest discussion site on the internet with untold numbers of young kids on it regularly has NSFW posts hit the top or second page.

It makes me wonder if Reddit will try to push down or altogether ban NSFW content a la Tumblr because of the site's popularity.


Don't you have to log in to get that content to show up by default?


Yeah and? 12-year olds have reddit accounts for things like gaming or other discussions. I think if you go to r/All it features nsfw content


It's still off by default, especially on mobile.

And if you have a kid with unmonitored access to the internet, they're going to access nsfw content regardless of what a site operator does.


I think you may still have to flip a switch in settings saying you're OK with seeing that–but really you don't have to go very far to find content like that anyways, just click on the comments for any post and you'll find something questionable quite quickly.


I use it as both. Not everyone fits in whatever category you've designated there is a lot of middle ground on reddit. It's far better as a platform than facebook that force your identity. If reddit ever isn't mostly anonymous I'll head out.


> Every one here has a 3rd party reddit app or uses RES. (if you don't, please do).

I sometimes go long stretches without using Reddit, but I'm 100% in the second column when I use it. I've never used a 3rd party reddit app and I don't use RES. The reason is that I only ever browse Reddit on the computer (logged in, in "old" Reddit mode). If you don't browse Reddit on your phone, these aren't really necessary. (This isn't just a Reddit thing, I also don't browse Twitter, Facebook, or any other social platform on my phone. Mainly, this is because I want to avoid the dark patterns and unblockable ads of mobile apps.)


For me I use it for boardgames, boardgamedeals, BoardGameNews, 18xx, digitaltabletop, some other even more niche board gaming subreddits, woodworking, artisanbread, breadit, bodyweightfitness, stormlight_archive, gardening, etc.

For me, Reddit is a single place to go for all of my niche hobbies.


"no where to go"

Indeed, subs and groups in social media have decimated web forums, web2.0 has consolidated most communities within a handful of sites.


there are three 'main' tabs on the app --- News, Home, Popular.. When I'm done reading News,and Home... i say to myself, "time to stupid!" and click "Popular" lol


My time at Etsy (2012-2015) taught me that people will rationalize anything to avoid dealing with the fact that they made a fundamentally bad decision.

A big reason Etsy has lost a lot of trust with consumers is their inconsistently applied policies and their allowance of cheap knock off crap. When I was there a few years ago, there were all sorts of forum posts, reddit posts and tweets about the problem all the time. The leadership (and more importantly) the people in the company, absolutely refused to believe it was a problem. We came up with any excuse and rationalization we could for not addressing it. The most common one was, "they (the people complaining) don't have access to our data, they don't know what we know, therefore their points are irrelevant." Another was, "they're just mad, let them vent, it's no big deal." Pure denial, the simplest reaction to bad news.

By continuously shoving their heads in the sand and not addressing the perception (whether it was real or not) the company allowed the perception to become reality. I'd be pretty surprised if reddit leadership doesn't do the same thing when they see messages on HN talking about how shit reddit is. They'll rationalize how we're a bunch of pedantic, angry nerds who don't represent the average user. They'll ignore the growing negative trends in favor of looking at the positive ones. They'll do anything they can to not change the strategy they've committed to. It smacks of a company that doesn't plan, doesn't think about the consequences of their decisions, and goes with the first idea that pops into their head.


> It smacks of a company that doesn't plan, doesn't think about the consequences of their decisions, and goes with the first idea that pops into their head.

I imagine the new design is a huge success in terms of revenue. Users now endlessly scroll through countless promotions and advertisements that seamlessly blend with the content and most likely have much higher engagement rates.

They can kill all the serious subreddits and focus on meme, porn, drama, influencer content and still be far more financially successful than the old Reddit. They'll have no shortage of users.

We might hate it and leave the site, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's sustainable in the long term for them and the right financial move.


I think most people that use reddit are using it for specific sub-reddits, not for memes or 'shitposting'.

Apollo app makes reddit a really nice experience for me on iOS, but I'm not sure what Android has on that front. Problem is that 3rd party apps that provide a front-end to Reddit need to be in active development. Once the dev steps back for a couple months, everything is going to go to shit.


> I think most people that use reddit are using it for specific sub-reddits, not for memes or 'shitposting'.

Perhaps. But the shear size of r/pic or r/jokes makes me doubt that most people are there for "serious business". Yes, I understand that you can subscribe to many subreddits and that you can sub to r/jokes AND r/serious-topic-with-serious-people. I'm just skeptical. Reddit is trying to be for the masses. Most of the time people spend on their phone is to look at cat pictures. I'm not passing judgement necessarily. It's just what everyone I know does. They read news, check Facebook, and then pull up TikTok/Snapchat/Instagram and look at funny pictures.

I still visit particular subreddits. I never visit the front page- not even "my" front page. I go to exactly whichever subreddit I want to read from at the moment. Maybe lots of people are using that way, but it's not what I see in my bubble. Again, I could be totally wrong.


Aren't those subreddits default? Which would explain why so many people joined.

I don't generally "join" any subreddits anymore. I create a multireddit and add subs to the multireddit. My joined subs is really small and are the subs I monitor regularly so I see them from the main page. Multireddits let me "subscribe" to less frequently visited subs without actually joining or being forced to see them.

For instance, I have one for books, one for music, one for finance related subs, one for programming subs, one for humor, etc. Almost none of those contain subs that I'm subscribed to.


If you curate your home page there it works pretty well. Turn off the popular subreddits that are the "default" and it works well enough. I mean it -is- free. I'm not sure why anyone would expect academic level journal topic curation from something as anarchic as reddit.


Do we really need to stare down our noses at people who just want to look at cat pictures?


> I'm not passing judgement necessarily. It's just what everyone I know does.

I like funny pictures, too. My point is that there are better sites than Reddit for it. So if that's who they're trying to retain, they're screwing it up.


You also need to take into account that Reddit and Imgur had a symbiotic relationship for this type of stuff for many years. Reddit has always had meme posts, but it was through imgur for the longest time. Those posts were often the start of our most enduring memes. More recently that whole scene has been dumbed down to the lowest common denominator set by Facebook and others.


Imgur has become a surprisingly good source of curated twitter and news content lately. It’s where I first learned of the Beirut explosion for instance.

Only the most salient news/tweet/insta screenshots make it to the top of usersub. It’s great


> Perhaps. But the shear size of r/pic or r/jokes makes me doubt that most people are there for "serious business".

Reddit is really big, there are really different people there and and there are many different ways you can use it.


That's why I said "most". Is that incompatible with what you said?


Android has "Sync for Reddit" (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.laurenceda...) which is an excellent app. One of the best designed and engineered Android apps that I use.


Seconded - love sync's offline capabilities. Especially on long flights. I commented above that android seems to have better options than IOS when it comes to third-party reddit apps. (I use devices from both platforms).


Yeah I used to use a couple other ones (reddit is fun?) and sync is far above them.


> I'm not sure what Android has on that front.

"Reddit is fun" has a very decent interface.


There are lots of great apps for android, I use one called Relay. It's about as good as apollo, IMO.


>I think most people that use reddit are using it for specific sub-reddits, not for memes or 'shitposting'.

Reddit is #17 on Alexa topsites, surrounding by search engines like google and yahoo and video content providers like Netflix and Youtube. I can't imagine reddit being the bastion for intellectual discussions on specific topic as much as any of those other sites are.


I use reddit as a google fix. Essentially I search for what I want + reddit then click the links in the posts. This has become harder due to the pile of shit that is google Amp but if it still works


Have you tried any other search engines?


In particular Searx[1], which is a search engine aggregator with dozens of backends, including one for Reddit. You can self-host it or use one of the public instances[2].

[1] https://github.com/searx/searx

[2] https://searx.space/


If you self host your searches likely won't be as anonymous as going through somethinglike duckduckgo or startpage unless you have a dedicated VPN 24/7


Once you get big you change your priorities. There is no reason the same can't happen to hacker news either. If they start allowing low quality shitpost. Right now I assume with the amount of traffic here, it doesn't cost lot of money to maintain this site. But the same for Reddit is different.

Reddit on its barely makes any profit and had made losses for a number of years. Right now they are too big to pull Digg and not suffer any major consequences.


many people are utterly disgusted by their tactics to try and force you onto their mobile app, they're upset at how slow the (default) site is, etc.

The problem is that not enough people are so disgusted that they stop using Reddit. As long as the managers can navigate that line between annoying people and turning people away, they will continue to make money.

I was never a Reddit person, and the few times I've gone there through HN links convinced me not to make visiting a habit.


I’ve started noticing old Reddit is also just broken now for a lot of posts.

If there’s a post with an image hosted on Reddit itself, old Reddit often doesn’t show it.

I have to open in incognito to see it.


Do you have a link to a submission with this issue? I only use the old interface and don't think I've run into what you've experienced.


I can try and find one - I last noticed it on r/sffpc.

It could be NextDNS blocking someone Reddit url I need to whitelist (though I’m skeptical since it works in incognito).


I find that the images in galleries are hidden in old, until you click the Play or Plus button (or whatever the subreddit css defines for that) that's under the title on the comments page, just to the right of the up/down vote buttons and the score. Single images seem to show up just fine for me.

I'm chalking it up to my preferences; I have "Show Thumbnails" disabled, and I suspect that's it, but I haven't experimented to verify.


Interesting - I also disable custom themes, maybe that's why I don't see that button?


There are still interesting communities and multi reddit are cool.

But you're right, reddit is being poisoned. Maybe they will remove the front page and /r/all one day. They should. All of this might be caused by elections.

I wish somebody would write a repertoire of subreddit by tags or categories. I still love to read comments on science and other constructive debates. Curated posts should also be more visible, not like digg did though. Subreddit of the day is nice too.

The shit posts are annoying, but it's part of how reddit want to attract as many types of users as possible, like tumblr.

If you don't explore reddit your using it wrong. I should search for a repertoire though.


They may be disgusted, but have they stopped buying?

People rage at airlines all the time. Any given us legroom back? No, as people still boarded the plane.


The airline example is even crazier. Even on a platform like Google Flights that shows you the legroom for each flight right next to the price, people still in large majorities select the lowest cost ticket with usually the least legroom. And then go on and complain about the legroom.

It's like buying a car with a 150 hp engine and then complain it's slower than the more expensive 250 hp model.


> Google Flights that shows you the legroom for each flight right next to the price

I've never seen this before on a flight booking site. How widespread and discoverable is this feature across the major booking sites, outside of Google Flights?


SkyScanner, my goto, has it.


Why would they care if a small number of people hate that they aggressively push you to their mobile app when can achieve 50 million downloads? Follow the money. It will answer a lot of questions for you.


Where are they going?


The people who want more non-meme content? I'm not sure. I'm not saying they've all moved on yet, but I bet they will.

For example, I preferred some of the more tech-related subreddits. Then I discovered HackerNews and Lobste.rs. That can't be the only demographic of content that has forums out there. And I imagine more will pop up.

Again, it's just my prediction/guess. I've certainly been wrong before. Perhaps I have it totally backwards. Maybe those people will stay because they're more tolerant of Reddit's bullshit to get to the good content. I don't think that's a smart bet for Reddit to make, though.

EDIT: Also, a lot of people are apparently moving to Discord chats.


My anecdata: I'm a long time reddit user, hate their new UI/UX, avoid their App and now visit less. I'm also still looking for what's next. Im thinking to go back to finding good RSS.

Where is a good feed finder?


The closest service I've found to old-school RSS is Feedly[0], which allows me to subscribe to various news or social media pipelines and group them as I like.

[0]https://feedly.com


I moved from Feedly to Newsblur when Feedly started charging.


Are you looking for a list of feeds to subscribe to?


Discord is great when you want real time conversation, but it exists parallel to a subreddit, not as a replacement.

To look forwards, you must look backwards, at new forum software such as NodeBB or Flarum. Specialist niche communities are already shifting in that direction, or have never left their old BBSes behind, but are due to welcome a resurgence of new members.


I still don't like it even for real time conversations. As they don't have threads, or any way to reply to a specific message, sometimes it's confusing to have 3 different conversations going on in the same channel


I've moved on, and come here. I always loved reddit for the news articles and conversation. I feel that both of those things have spread out to the margins. Some subs still have the quality text-based content that I like, but most have been snuffed out by power-hungry mods, or transformed by an influx of users who don't understand the older reddit culture.

When a friend referred me to hackernews, I found that it has the type of content and users that I miss from reddit. I also visit Tildes on occasion, but the user base is so small that the content is much more limited than it is here.


is discord easy to search for? like what are some good technical discord for programmers?


Management? Probably never. We are probably 0.5% or less of the reddit audience. Even on reddit commenters are only like 5% of the people visiting make comments so they don't mean much to reddit management. They will only know if there is a geurilla movement in social media to criticize some part of reddit and then reddit and twitter blow up. That's when management notices.


Adding to this reddit is centralizing themselves. Classically they were a link aggregator, a place pointing to other content. Now if you upload something there reddit is the place its pointing to. A video on reddit is hard to download, and a link to a video is always opened with a full reddit view with comments and everything.

I dont like the way they are going and have sought alternatives 2 years ago. Thats where i found hackernews and tildes.net which are pretty good. However not a good alternative to the niche subreddits we all love.


I kind of agree. The day they ditch oldreddit.com and break RES I'm probably gone from the site.


Would like an invite to tildes if you can spare...


> There are more efficient ways to get low-effort shitposts and memes than Reddit.

What reddit replacements exist out there that have the niche communities that Reddit supports?


I'm sure that what they care about is having viewers without adblock, which is what the app provides

> was never going to be more than a fad IMO

That's what I said about SNAP. It seems platform stickiness is stronger than some of us might have judged. Especially considering today's tech illiterate youth. They have no idea what the implications of installing an 'app' are.


Good point. I also thought the same thing about SnapChat. I may be wrong about all three!


Meh, I know it's popular to hate but I don't mind the app and I don't mind the website redesign either, it works great for me. I'm not saying it does for everyone else but it's largely possible that people aren't as annoyed as you think.


Possibly. But have you seen the "this subreddit is only available on the app" page you get when you visit certain subreddits while on a mobile browser? Simply changing the url to old.reddit.com "reveals" that it's certainly not "only available on the app". Or the periodic nagging to "continue with the app" when browsing the mobile site?

I've not met anyone who thinks that's okay.

And I will never use their app because of that. I'm actually quite upset that their campaign appears to be "working", as seen by the OP.


I get so frustrated using reddit on mobile browsers because the reddit app popups or dark patterns that stop me from reading a complete post or the comments in the post are so antagonistic.

I don't know how much time I've wasted trying to get "Read more" to take me to the right spot just to find out I'd read the entire thing or there was one asinine comment in the entire thread it was hiding from me.

The new reddit ux is so bad but I don't use the site enough anymore to dedicate myself to a full app, and those have all of their own frustrations. It'd be nice if the default browser experience was the native and "clean" one, not the worst one.


I deleted the app because it was too much of a skinners box for me, but it worked well. The mobile site on iOS works well, and I literally never get popup prompts or blockers guiding me towards the app. Perhaps those people aren’t logged in? On desktop I use the redesign happily - the biggest complaint I’ve heard from power users is that it’s not as information dense, but that’s super easily fixed by changing the default layout from ‘card’ to ‘classic’ or ‘compact’. I suspect those people skipped the popup walkthrough that explained this when the transition happened, because I’ve run across many bitter people who used the old site a lot and didn’t know you could change the new one away from the massive cards. IMO that’s pretty ironic.

Reddit’s current UIs get a lot of hate, but I’ve been using the site at least weekly for the last 11 years and I really don’t get the complaints. The old site was ugly (albeit familiar), and the new skin doesn’t subtract from the functionality in any way besides a few obscure subreddits with wild styling. If that has helped bring people to my niche interest subs, that’s a huge win in my book.


I'm sorry I haven't seen that because I just use the app. It's really not a big deal. I'm pretty careful with picking my battles and I get quite a bit of value from reddit.


You mean jedberg and others? Yeah, they're around.


But as an ex-employee, I don't think they have much control over what Reddit is doing these days?


Basically the only interactions I have with reddit nowadays is my Pythonbot that grabs wallpapers from a few subreddits.


I use old reddit redirect. If old.reddit ever went away I would stop going to reddit completely, similar to what happened with the digg bar.

I don't use reddit on mobile specifically because I don't download apps on my phone (outside of a few small games such as bejeweled), and I think surfing the internet on the phone is miserable regardless. The only thing I ever crack my browser open for is to look something up while at the grocery store, etc.


There is a phenomenon when older and older groups enter a social platform, the quality of that platform deteriorates for the younger generation, and perhaps maybe even overall. We saw this with facebook, We saw this with twitter, and we're now seeing this with Reddit.

(yes, there is twitter outside of tech, and it's content quality is extremely poor and juvenile)

Reddit, at one point, was just science, memes, an occasional atheist post, and and A list Celebrity AMA every other day - a platform that provided niche content mostly for age 18-30 year old Americans.

Now with the flood of all sorts of ideas from all fronts, It has become way too overwhelming to really digest what everyone has to offer - Diving deep into reddit will eventually and inevitably get anyone upset and bothered.

As Reddit builds its foundation upon favoring ad populum, it is starting to become evident that not every voice should be heard, especially when the average american individual is as uneducated as he or she is.

“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

― Isaac Asimov

I'd like to one up Asimov - that it is not a false notion, but literally the core tenet of what democracy is.

That all opinions are of equal value.

And in all honesty... this is dangerous.


I've been using Reddit since 2009 (after the Digg exodus for ironically - a bad redesign.), and the biggest change I've noticed (aside from the terrible single page app they switched over to) is how massively popular schadenfreude content is now. Subreddits like "Justice Served" and "Public Freakout", "Malicious Compliance" "Entitled Parents", the list goes on and on.

It's all "This person/people/group did something bad and now are getting their comeuppance." and the site has become like a nerdy version of World Star Hip Hop.

You really can't browse the regular Reddit front page without encountering a lot of content that is designed to upset you. I've started to actually hate using Reddit. Niche subreddits are still useful in limited ways, but it's a shame to see things go this way. Reddit had a good run.


Agreed. It seems mostly a tool to enrage people now. I cant stomach it anymore, the tin foil hat wearing part of me would say there are larger forces at work here. The flipside of these subreddits(public freakout, etc) is that a non-trivial percentage of these things are/could be fake.

To the main point of the article- Reddit must really get a lot of dough monetizing user data because its as bad or worse than ad/malware...


There definitely are larger forces at work, plenty of times I see what is pretty clearly political propoganda on the front page. Iran had a lot of success in r/worldnews [0]. I actually noticed a lot of pro-iran propoganda on Reddit when the US killed their general, the post would be pro-Iran and all the comments would be against it, mostly stopped after they shot down the plane though.

[0] https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/volunteers-found-iran...


It's a shame that Reddit relies so heavily on their "default" front page experience.

99.9% of people looking at Reddit will never see how good and useful it can be. My front page is just the stuff I'm into - a couple dozen niche subreddits with good cultures. It is nice. It is my favorite place on the internet.

Most people will never take the time to make an account and curate their subreddit subscriptions.

Could that process be improved and streamlined? Absolutely yes. When you make an account -- or perhaps even before -- it should probably hold your hand and walk you through a preferences discovery process.

As it stands now, customizing Reddit is effectively a collection of "power user" features and we all know how that goes: only a tiny fraction of users will ever bother.


Agreed. Also, with the redesign UI there is no way to manage your multireddits, making it a chore to curate content. I have to go to the old reddit version of the sub to add or subtract it from a multireddit.


I thought multis are just URLs you can bookmark.


With the old reddit design, you can create your own Multireddits. If you switch to old reddit (click username dropdown > "Visit Old Reddit"), and hover over the "Join" button on a subreddit, you should get a menu to check and add that sub to a multireddit (or create a new one). Some subs with custom CSS break this functionality, but this is a way to curate and categorize your subs. So you can read posts from all of you favorite programming-related subs together in one multi and all your favorite cooking ones in another, etc. Once you have them set up you can use them in the new redesign, but to manage them you need to go back to Old Reddit.

You’re right. I’ve been on Reddit since 2012. But over the last 2-3 years, the front page seems to feature more controversial or upsetting content. I wonder if Reddit promotes that to increase engagement metrics.


There's also tons of "memes but named differently" subs. Cursed images, blessed images, blursed images, etc. images. They're all picking from the same pool of reposted content.

Some of the best stuff has actually been long form comedy writing from the sports subreddits during the lockdown. It's good banter, unlike the twitter screenshot repost subs like murderedbywords, kamikazebywords, etc.bywords.


>the site has become like a nerdy version of World Star Hip Hop.

Wow, this is an excellent comparison. You're absolutely right.


Reddit is not quite dead yet, but if I had to pick a specific point when Reddit began its downfall it quality, it was definitely when r/fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu exploded in popularity, and Reddit shifted to primarily a place to get terrible 4chan memes.


I think screenshots of Tweets had a much more detrimental effect than 4chan memes.


Yes absolutely. The turning point for me was when I visited r/all one day and the first page was almost entirely screenshots from Twitter


Reddit is completely infested with politics too, many subs that you wouldn't expect to be political are clearly aligned a certain way.


And this was the reason I finally deleted my account and stopped browsing Reddit. It was hard to find any sub that didn't turn in to a left vs right argument. I intentionally avoided political subs and anything news related but unfortunately most discussions some how turned political.


Yeah, I’ve noticed recently. For instance /r/ActualPublicFreakOuts is quite conservative, in comparison to /r/PublicFreakOuts


That happened as a reaction to PublicFreakouts becoming ProtestsAgainstPolice


>You really can't browse the regular Reddit front page without encountering a lot of content that is designed to upset you

This 2 minutes of hate thing is prevalent on HN as well. "Content that is designed to upset you" is right.


I used to visit /r/amitheasshole for a bit until I realized that subreddit was just porn for a certain type of personality. I found it super distasteful and left.

I don't even understand why people would live their life with that much anger and hatred. I would literally see what was obviously just a miscommunication or bad actions with good intentions that could be resolved by communication and people would just vilify the person.

yuck.


Interesting that you feel older demographics degrade a platform. For me, it’s the opposite: I am really starting to appreciate hobby forums that are dominated by people a couple of decades older than myself. This tends to happen to independent website forums when now the younger generation eschews them for walled gardens like Reddit.

The reason for that is that older people are less likely to be using mobile, and they are more likely to create long-form text content. You can actually have substantial discussions with them and share detailed tips and reports. Compare this to the relevant Reddit subreddits, where each day’s new posts have largely devolved to vacuous uploaded photos or memes, and the discussion thread is often a lot of vacuous one-sentence replies.


> Interesting that you feel older demographics degrade a platform. For me, it’s the opposite

Agree. More mature users means less bullshit. A corrected statement would probably be something like: if a platform is used mostly by younger demographics, then an influx of older people degrades that platform for the younger people.

Which seems pretty obvious.


More mature users means different bullshit. The flight sim community is an example of one I'm involved in which has many forums with older users that grew out of 90s forums or even older BBSes and have a large older audience.

I wouldn't call those forums as having less bullshit than say the Reddit, which has the younger parts of the community.


    Interesting that you feel older demographics 
    degrade a platform. For me, it’s the opposite: 
    I am really starting to appreciate hobby forums 
    that are dominated by people a couple of decades 
    older than myself. 
Yeah, it's funny. Older demographics "ruin" some platforms and really excel at others.

This is all 100% subjective, but I think many people would agree that older demographics are.... not always much fun on "general purpose" social networking platforms like Facebook.

Leaving Facebook's substantial ethical concerns aside for a moment, Facebook and Instagram stopped being fun real fast once everybody's parents and aunts and uncles showed up. It's simply too easy for Uncle Bob to repost anti-vax stuff or whatever he's into, and most people would prefer to keep some of the fun/exciting parts of their lives private from their families.

But, like you, I've gotten into some hobbies where the older folks have just a freaking amazing online presence - just super generous and talented people; absolute superstars of the community.


Older intelligent people are the best. Older uneducated+opinionated people...not so much.


Yes. Additionally....

There are a lot of older people who are intelligent and uneducated but have a really tough time distinguishing "fake news" from "real news."

My sister is in her 50s, is intelligent and kind-hearted, and winds up linking to fake news sites alllllll the time.

A lot of those sites are absolutely insidious. They look like reputable news sites: your same basic layout as any mainstream news site. Frequently updated with multiple news articles per day. Many even sprinkle in a lot of innocuous syndicated stories from the Associated Press or some other press service.

But... look a little closer and all of their original content pushes some particular agenda.

For example, my sister linked to one that looked pretty legit. Had a bunch of soft news stories. But, look a little closer.... and there were thousands of disturbing articles about how it was harmful to have abortions or be LGBT.

If a publisher has an agenda, okay. That's fine. We all have viewpoints and agendas. But masquerading as a neutral mainstream news site, so that you grasp for some unearned credibility from folks who aren't tech-savvy enough to know the difference? Yiiiiiikes.

Some folks will point out that this criticism could be applied to Fox News or MSNBC as well. I wouldn't totally disagree, but what I'm saying is that there are fake news sites out that that are waaaaay more extreme and insidious.


I think it's clear that it is harmful to be LGBT (especially T). This is obvious in the clearly higher rates of suicide of these demographics.

I'm not arguing that we shouldn't be inclusive, but lets also make sure we're not pretending that there aren't problems there. You can't try to fix a problem you won't acknowledge.

Now, perhaps you meant something else when you said harmful, I just interpreted it that way because I would have expected you to say 'bad' if it was the case that the articles were judging the people themselves (much like a religious person might).


I suspect you're trolling, but here goes. I'll stick strictly to facts and abstain from all moral judgement.

In most of the world, LGBT folk face a number of additional stressors compared to non-LGBT folk. These stressors include some or all of the following:

- Inability to marry partners of their choosing

- Inability to openly date partners of their choosing

- Imprisonment or death

- Dismissal from their jobs

- Abandonment by family

- Loss of children

- and so on

Whether or not you feel those stressors are just or not, certainly they contribute to poorer mental health outcomes, to put it mildly.


You are confusing "harmful" with "at-risk"


Then please explain it to me.


In short, you appear to be mixing cause and effect; i.e., correlation is not causation.

A higher suicide rate among the LGBT population can mean two things:

1. Being LGBT causes a higher suicide rate

2. Being LGBT is correlated with a higher suicide rate

The first conclusion postulates that the mere state of being LGBT, independent of environmental, social, circumstantial, or other factors, increases suicide risk; in other words, no matter how accepted or ostracized LGBT people are, no matter their upbringing, no matter any other factor, they will always have a higher suicide rate.

The second conclusion, on the other hand, allows for the possibility that some external factor can come into the picture to produce the observed result, and that being LGBT does not innately mean a higher risk for suicide. For example, perhaps LGBT people are relegated to a second-class place in society, with reduced opportunity to find love and having to constantly act in an “unnatural” way in order to be treated fairly. These additional stresses can add up to an increased suicide risk, without which an LGBT person would have a “normal” suicide risk.

By saying “ I think it's clear that it is harmful to be LGBT”, then bringing up suicide rates without mentioning possible confounding factors, it seems you’re drawing conclusion number 1 from above, which, strictly speaking, is too strong of a conclusion to draw given the stated data.


You are right, young people degrade a platform just as much as anyone else.

The only platform in which this phenomenon can be applied to is probably Facebook.


In principle, I agree. Theoretically older users should be more emotionally stable, and produce less drama.

In practice though we’ve seen FB become basically the conspiracy theory fever swamps during a demographic change. Maybe there is some other factor beyond the age of the user at play here, but I certainly have no idea what that might be.


My reddit account is over 10 years old, and I think we have different views of why Reddit is on a slow decline.

Every single sub-reddit will, at some point after its first few users, need to decide if it will be a meme/image macro sub, or not. Every sub that implicitly allows memes, will eventually become a meme sub if the mods choose to do nothing. It seems there are large numbers of users on Reddit that feel entitled to let "upvotes and downvotes" be the ultimate and only modding that should happen on a sub-reddit. These users will balk at any notion of getting rid of memes because "what else is there to discuss"? For them, the worst thing to happen to their feed is for there not to be a huge dearth of mindless content to consume which is heavily remixed and re-used all over the site every single time they login.

They will also deny that any sub that allows memes will somehow then "become a meme sub". They seem willfully ignorant of what happens to meme subs, and seem to think "if people upvote it, then that means they want it", ignoring how the people who upvote most frequently and the lowest quality content are those that rapidly consume meme content.

Reddit is ruined by these super passive consumers of memes. Not anti-intellectualism, but just those that want to go to reddit, see funny shit, upvote it all, and then get on with their day. And they demand to see that EVERYWHERE.


>the worst thing to happen to their feed is for there not to be a huge dearth of mindless content

FYI, "dearth" means "scarcity or lack", which I think is the opposite of the intended meaning here?


My bad, thanks! I did mean the opposite


I mean yea, but it's ruined by anti-intellectualism too.


I don't think it's that simple.

I left /r/patientgamers after the mods came out and declared they were going to be LGTBQ friendly, which meant any discussion about those issues, even if they were related to a game (for example the remake of Baldurs Gate) would result in a ban. The argument made by a lot of people is that the community should get to decide if that's something they want to discuss, not the moderators (and I agree).

I also left /r/fitness when they decided what they needed was a female moderator. They specifically decided they wanted a new moderator and that moderator had to be female. As if male moderators are unable to identify sexual harassment.

I don't want to be moderated by people who have a political agenda. Fullstop.

I didn't go to /r/fitness because it had a 'diverse' moderation team, I wanted to go there to discuss with fellow fitness enthusiasts. I didn't want to go to /r/patientgamers because it was a "safe space", I went there to discuss with others who also mostly refused to buy games for $60+ USD.

Too often moderators forget why they're there, and think that just because they have the power to means they should. There is absolutely a time and place to let upvotes make the decision of what stays and what goes. Not always, but very often it's true.


Did you find a /r/patientgamersWithLGBT and /r/GenderAgnosticFitness, or did you cut off your gaming and fitness experience to spite the mods?


If someone who identifies as LGBT wants to discuss fitness or patient gaming, great. lets do it.

But this can happen without moderators banning anyone who brings up LGBTQ. The idea that you must ban those discussions in order to have LGBTQ participate is doing that demographic a disservice.

To contrast that, I'm Native American. Imagine if dang felt the need to ban any discussion involving Native Americans because he felt it was necessary to allow me, and those like me, to participate in discussions.

That's not how that works. It's how misguided people work.

edit: Also, to answer your question. It turns out the world doesn't revolve around reddit and I'm able to find communities without reddit (or simply leave it behind).


Reddit skews consistently young though. Too young for many people's tastes (including mine). There is just too much meme-noise in subreddits that are not well moderated. Shallow thinking and childish antics derail any deep conversation.

You are correct that reddit confuses truth with popularity though. That meme needs to die


Yes, on Reddit the zoomers are a larger problem than the boomers.

Default subreddits today basically feel like being in elementary school all over again, the average age is like 14.


"Hey I am 14 years old developer and I made XXX, for my first XXX, please check it out"


Funny enough that childlike behavior is probably from people in their 30s


>Reddit, at one point, was just science, memes, an occasional atheist post, and and A list Celebrity AMA every other day - a platform that provided niche content mostly for age 18-30 year old Americans.

This seems to mostly outright ignore some of the more controversial subreddits that existed/flourished in the past. There was a significant amount of content, including entire subreddits, dedicated to sexualizing minors.

It feels revisionist to think reddit has only recently become flooded with controversial content.


I never really got the outrage for that subreddit. Minors are sexualized in society all the time, especially by various magazines, and it's completely, 100% legal and accepted.

IIRC there were accusations of CP being put up and not taken down in a timely manner. For that reason I'm ok with the subreddit not being there, but the whole "sexualization of a minor" thing is a red herring.

just imagine if someone got up in arms about a magazine putting a picture of a 16 y/o with big tits on their cover. No one does unless she's explicitly in a sexual position.


Excepting of course that just as you and many here do, you assume your opinion in the group of having higher value. Yes it is easy to pick out the obvious bad opinions but it becomes far less easy to do so when the issues are divisive because both sides can be correct but you can guarantee both sides can have proponents who think the other one is an idiot.

Reddit's issue for me is that many supposedly good subs are so completely toxic to any opposing view they may as well not exist.


It is far too common that the easiest to pick out are the loudest


Let's not forget the Eternal September that ruined newsgroups.

I don't think it's really an age issue per se. The problem that a group/demographic/tribe/whatever makes a place hot, then a bunch of people that don't fit their description show up wanting to get in on the fun. The result is the original group packing up and moving on. You see this everywhere from Facebook to gentrifying neighborhoods.


I presume the change in tone and content on reddit is due to mobile users moving to the site. It is probably good for their click rates actually, but discussions were a lot more relaxed 5 years ago. I still use it, but only for niche subs.

I always rolled my eyes at people denouncing the quality of default subs. They weren't good but also not that terrible. Now it isn't necessarily terrible, but just extremely stupid. Nearly every comment.


Well over the last 5 years or so it's just got more commercially focussed - mainstream, populist, more tracking through app use = more advertising dollars. It's just the shift towards full commercial focus.

Things get popular : someone decides to use it to increase their wealth.


I agree 100% here. Comment sections on reddit are approaching YouTube-level lows.


I think you are incorrect in blaming older people for this issue. I would argue it's simply the increased user base regardless of age. When things are niche and communities small conversations tend to flourish and surprisingly I think echo chambers are a bit less of a problem since dissenting views can often be voiced without down vote floods etc. As the user base increases you get further from the group of people who were passionate enough about subject X to be early adopters and into a more generalized audience. That general audience is often not interested or not equipped for indepth discussion of X. That mentality also leads to down vote parties I think. I have seen it in a number of subs that I used to really enjoy. After reaching a critical mass of users they have become meme and low content post factories. I suppose part of that is an increase in users who specifically care about generating up votes so they generate as much content as possible which inevitably leads to low quality stuff.


Opinions are of equal value [...] this is dangerous.

I disagree that it is dangerous. Of course not every opinion is worthwhile, but since opinions got labeled as too dangerous, they got much more appeal for others. Otherwise it would just be another stupid opinion.

I think this had a large negative effect on many subs since people somehow lost the ability to just ignore something or write their own opinion as a response. Everyone was screaming for mommy moderator.

Today people get a heart attack if someone writes that the earth is flat.


I think all opinions have value, but that value is not necessarily intrinsic.

So 'the earth is flat' has value in indicating a person's ignorance (or trollishness), possibly associating them with a group (good for them; useful for others).


I find this perspective fascinating, because I totally disagree. I started using reddit in... 2007? (I remember a lot of content about the economic crisis and Occupy Wall Street.) I feel that the change in reddit has come from an influx of younger users, not older ones.

When I joined reddit, I had the sense that most users were 25-45. If you revealed you were 20, you were a baby by reddit standards. There was a sort of unspoken (and sometimes, outright) filter preventing younger users from enjoying the experience. The community of users wouldn't tolerate poor grammar and misspellings. Users were torn apart if they posted a news article about a study without posting a link to the actual study. Users ignored onions from other users if they were unable to cite sources.

The site was ugly. Before the redesign, it looked like it was built in '98 and never updated. I remember a friend of mine being completely turned off by the site because of the visual design, without paying any attention to the quality of the content. There was much more of a learning curve to using the site than there is now. That served as a deterrent, whether intentionally or not. People who genuinely were interested in the content and the conversation stayed, and users who were more interested in a spoon-fed lazy entertainment website stayed away.

Now, it's not uncommon to see posts from 13 and 14 year-olds. I've even seen content from people as young as 7. I think this has had a significant impact on the decrease in quality of content. The redesign has certainly made the site more inviting to the average user. I think this is a chicken-or-the-egg situation, in that I can't say whether the influx of new users was a result of the redesign, or the cause, but it doesn't really matter. The point is that the content has shifted from more slow-burn, idea-challenging content, to entertainment designed for instant gratification. There's nothing wrong with that kind of entertainment in itself, I just prefer the former.


I agree. I shouldn't have led with that sentiment.

The reason why I did so was because I was recently browsing an AskReddit post asking "What Movie Will you always Recommend". (https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ij0ha8/what_movi...) And as I viewed the top answers I remember thinking to myself that reddit is older than I perceived it to be, although it may just be appreciation for classics as I, too, have many 80-90s movies that i would highly recommend.

That being said, I do believe that the older demographic ruined Facebook.

Since writing the comment, I don't think it's correct to label an age demographic as the culprit but rather the rise in popularity in general, and the overwhelming effect it can have.


In democracy two stupid people have more power than one smart individual.

On the other side what kind of existing system is better than democracy?


If you have enough money you can buy the influencing of a lot of less analytical people.

In the UK we combat that by strict regulations on money spent influencing voters. Sadly, despite proving Brexit campaigns were backed by an excessive amount of money routed through a Russian oligarch the result remains (unintended ironic use of 'remain'!).

Democracy can only work with probity. If the people don't know the truth they can't vote for their choice.

Benevolent dictatorship seems likely the better option, just choose your dictator carefully!


>Benevolent dictatorship seems likely the better option, just choose your dictator carefully!

"Where have all the good philosopher kings gone?" :)


Top 50 sub-reddits are controlled by the same people. This should say enough about the platform.


Every once in a while one of those individuals gets "pissed off" and bans individuals 1 by 1 on all the subs they mod.


I suspect you may have overlooked who shows up between the kids and the older users: internet marketers. Marketers want clicks, eyeballs and engagement and they do that by sharing viral content, most often outrage porn.

As long as a given platform is also a vehicle for building an off-platform audience, marketers will inevitably show up and shit all over everything.


    (yes, there is twitter outside of tech, and it's 
    content quality is extremely poor and juvenile)
This is not my experience at all. It's extremely dependent on whom you follow, obviously, but there are a lot of people posting funny and smart things on Twitter.

The extremely casual / shitposting crowd is more drawn to Instagram, Tiktok, etc.

Like any medium, 99.9% of stuff on Twitter is garbage, but it's still primarily a text - based medium and I think that requires juuuuuuust enough effort to drive away the most casual of casual posters.

The character limit of Twitter also imposes a certain clarity of thought and composition. It's like being forced to fit your thoughts into a haiku: it's restrictive and frustrating, but you can sometimes wind up with concise little gems you wouldn't have come up with otherwise.


> especially when the average american individual is as uneducated as he or she is.

I find this generalisation tired, offensive and without merit. If they're so uneducated why are they still sending craft into space, producing wonderful poetry and creating innovative ways to leverage the Internet?


The people who are developing spacecraft, writing poetry, or reshaping the internet are not "average Americans."

Neverthess, I agree that the statement is without merit. I think this stereotype comes from Europeans, who tend to be more worldly than Americans (for example, nearly everyone in Europe speaks both their native language and English).

What Europeans tend to forget is that in Europe, you can hop on a train, airplane, hell, even a car, and within an hour be in another country, for less than the price of a fancy dinner.

America, by contrast, is huge. As a result, travel is more expensive, more time-consuming, and much harder when it comes to finding diversity.


The average American is most certainly not writing poetry or building space craft.


Insightful comment. This falls in line with conspiracy theories: while on the whole its good to be critical or skeptic, when you use all kinds of extraneous data points to make it fit your pre-chosen theory, it no longer is science.


Part of it could also be that older people are more economically and politically interesting -> more interesting to target for ads, tracking and political persuasion.

Or just the fact that older people are the decision makers deciding on these (deteriorating) things and they are more likely to target platforms they're aware of and that they recognize.


How do you determine what is "intelligent" and thus worth listening to and what is not? How can you rely on your inherently very flawed human genetic machine to not fool you into various thought patterns that have no rational basis at all, but just serve your tribe, your family, or your short term self interest?


If this was Reddit, I would give you Gold for this post.


From my perspective there are only two ways to browse Reddit nowadays: visiting the old.reddit.com site and through a third-party mobile app.

I’m not one to speak either about the changing dynamics on the site since it’s launch, but my experience there as a whole has shifted hard into the direction of carefully curated subreddits. Avoiding anything I don’t want to see is just as easy as never visiting All or Popular.


Adding ".rss" to a subreddit's URL turns it into an RSS feed. I use this to avoid the homepage and ranking by hot/popular, and consume reddit like a normal news feed.


I've been using this extensions for a few months now and it's great, auto-redirect all reddit URIs to the old site: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/old-reddit-re...


I use i.reddit.com on mobile, it seems distinct from old.reddit.com?


old.reddit serves you the old desktop interface, even on mobile. i.reddit serves you the very old mobile interface, even on desktop.


i.reddit.com serves the old mobile interface but the very old mobile interface is served at https://www.reddit.com/.mobile?keep_extension=True


I like Baconreader

Reddit is dead.

Unfortunately, it's not turned into HN.


It's always interesting to see how the value of communities gets concentrated and captured.

1. Communities for around disparate forums 2. Those communities migrate to centralized service because of more eyeballs in one place, less work to maintain infrastructure, etc. 3. Centralized service captures increasing amount of value by running more ads, closing off more open channels, etc.

This is clearly the lifecycle for Facebook, Reddit, and arguably Google. My question is: what's step 4? Are communities going to start unbundling, or does this trend just continue?


Step 4 is that communities die.

Well over half of all web traffic is from cell phones, and the mobile-first web is hostile to long text content. It is also incredibly hostile to user-created long text content.

With the exception of people who need keyboards for work (tech workers, academics, journalists, writers, etc) there's no one left online to make community content anymore. Hence, HN (a community for tech workers and similarly minded people) and Twitter (where most organic, non-public-relations major players are journalists, academics, or writers).

What passes for web communities have almost entirely become playgrounds for intellectual lightweights to spew memes at each other combined with a platform for entities posting inorganic content that pretends to be genuine.


> With the exception of people who need keyboards for work there's no one left online to make community content anymore

I was about to agree with you, then I thought about Instagram. It is truly a passive consumption platform. Getting 10 comments on a post by a user with 500K followers is pretty normal.


I can't trust those numbers after my recent experience. I made a fake account on facebook to check it out and then logged into all the other services. I got 50 followers on instagram within a day by following < 5 accounts on the recommended list. Nothing posted, a weird fake name.

I am still getting more followers.


Wow, really? That would be depressing for me.

You have 500k followers and only 10 of them comment on your posts. That's terrible engagement.


still beats the engangement of a TV advertisment

and that's what instagram is all about


This does happen. But are you sure those are “real” followers? There are services you can pay to give you followers.


> Twitter (where most organic major players are journalists, academics, and writers)

You can curate your following list to make it feel like that’s true, but it’s really not at all.


And who do you think the organic major players are?


Lots of people from all kinds of backgrounds, journalists and academics among those for sure, but also influencers, celebrities, politicians, artists, bloggers, even just more or less regular people, etc.

How it seems to you just depends on whether you go to Twitter for the latest tech news or fashion trends. And there's probably bigger interest in the latter. It's just like the internet in general.


Genuine, unrelated, question: What is an "influencer"?

I've only recently started seeing people refer to others or themselves as "influencers" (I'm not on Snapchat/Tiktok/Instagram/Twitter).

The distopian cynic in me only understands it as "person with a bunch of followers on social media who occasionally peddles products" a.k.a a human ad. Is this about right?


You’re factually correct but yes that is a cynical way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it is that they’re entertainers of large audiences that make money through advertising. You know, just like TV/radio/newspapers do.


Thank you for the level-headed view of it. I'm not level-headed when it comes to advertising and I'm not very apologetic about it.

Somehow it feels more gross than a radio commercial. On the radio I can tell the difference between a song and an advertisement for the local law firm. When these people build a rapport with viewers and then peddle a product, it feels more manipulative to me.


I generally share your view, but I imagine influencers can also add value for the consumers, because they put their name behind the products they advertise. While there probably are more than enough influencers that just advertise anything, I'd expect there are some who actually use and like whatever they advertise. So they kind of provide a product vetting service to consumers. As long as you can tell their ads from their regular content, that is.

Total speculation though as I'm also not really active on that kind of social media.


99% of the content is made by 1% of the users, so I don't think this logic applies. Most reddit users do not participate in discussions, they only consume content.


Maybe if people who post any kind of self-promotion for content they create weren’t so aggressively punished on Reddit so often, maybe it’d get more people sharing on it.

As an example, I was once shadowbanned on the entire Reddit site by an admin for posting two links in gaming subreddits to show off a game I had spent almost six months developing full-time as part of a small team. I didn’t submit too many other links because Reddit was my main source of discovering content, but I commented a ton on the site, easily had hundreds of comments.

I was proud of what I had accomplished and I wanted to share with what I thought was my community at the time. I didn’t even realize I was shadowbanned and was commenting for months after until a moderator informed me and said they were manually approving my comments on a particular subreddit.

I tried their appeals “process” and never got a response, which is apparently is how 99% of appeals works on that site.

Harsh lesson I learned there. I never submitted any link for anything there ever again and didn’t read or comment again for a couple of years afterwards, in which I created a new account to do so.


Same here. Lost my interest and never able to gain it back.


I got into board games in a big way and started reading /r/boardgames, and that lured me back eventually, although since then I discovered all the people who work in the industry are using Facebook groups so that's where I talk board games now. It's also nice to see actual names associated with their comments when it's a bunch of people you know, instead of just usernames you have to mentally translate.

Apparently my shadowbanned account was unblocked eventually and I can post normally from it again, but I know it was banned for at least 4 years, because I checked periodically (If you're not logged in, the user page looks blank. I thought it was some weird glitch but no, it's because I was shadowbanned).

I've been mostly posting in /r/coronavirus lately since I don't want to get into fights with friends on Facebook about my thoughts on it.


Step 5 is then that an open, federated and/or decentralized protocol gets developed, and it either gets traction or dies.

Unfortunately, for many such communication channels, we are still only in the middle of this step 5, and we have no idea how it ends. E.g. Matrix for chat, ForgeFed for source hosting services, PeerTube for videos, or various other (mostly ActivityPub-based) efforts.


I wish this where true, but protocols aren't products. The normals want polished products. Only weirdos like us on HN care about protocols, or even know they exist for that matter.

For a protocol to matter to a normal person, it has to enable killer features that aren't currently possible.


This article about unbundling Reddit made the rounds recently

https://latecheckout.substack.com/p/the-guide-to-unbundling-...


The unbundling concept is making the rounds through the 'indie hacker' community. I've heard it mentioned a few podcasts recently. It'll be interesting to see what business spring up in the next couple of years that chip pieces off of Facebook and Reddit.

I wonder if in a century we'll understand the economy of the Internet as constantly oscillating between concentration and decentralization.


I think the communities that will be 'unbundled' are the ones that want to get away from memes and foster a more discussion-orientated community.

All other content gets drowned out by memes eventually, which is a real shame.


That concept traces back to unbundling Craigslist, from 2010:

https://thegongshow.tumblr.com/post/345941486/the-spawn-of-c...

(That's been submitted to HN but with no traction to date: https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=true&que...)


There is definitely space for unbundling reddit. The key is, you have to give something of value to that specific community to lure them over. Solely copying a subreddit won't do


Too late for Reddit now but free services should consider and publish their sustainability plans from the start, if they want to avoid this trap anyway


Step 4 is always issue stock.


Hm . Well Yahoo was a bundler in the past . There doesnt seem to be a step 4 unless a new trend takes over and renders all of the old guard obsolete.

As other have said, their end goal is cashing out in an IPO


I don't know but I'm pissed. That's why I started working on my own social platform as a replacement that has some core values that are aligned with the needs of the community:

- UX is paramount on any device.

- Your data is your own. This is especially important for community administrators who have literally no control over how the content is organized (true for Reddit, Facebook, etc) or where the content goes

- Communities define their own rules

- There is an easy way to organize meetups as well

It works with a simple subscription model where we host the service. No ads, tracking or other shady shit involved. If you're interested I'm gonna post it here once the MVP is complete.


There is already high friction for existing communities to switch over to a new platform before you factor in the dealkiller that is a subscription cost.


No fee for members, only for the owner of the community.

This is a generally trending idea: make your users' experience miserable, improve short-term numbers, lose in the longer term.

We're seeing the same pattern with ad-loaded sites, "Your ad choices" popups with those terrible "Manage My Preferences" dialogs — I'm sure all those result in quarterly bonuses for a bunch of managers. But they are not the Right Thing to Do, and will come to bite back in the long term.


Eating the future seed corn in the hopes of higher profits now has been the business model of choice for most companies for the past 40 years, ever since compensation for senior management became directly linked to stock prices.

Allowing executives to walk away with short-term gains but stick shareholders (and/or the public) with long-term losses broke many, many things in corporate governance and society in general. It's no coincidence that quality of life measures began to stagnate when this became the normal way to do business.


Shareholders are happy on it, considering that for public shares the horizon of future thought is "next quarter". Short term share price gains are utilised in trading.

It's only the long term shareholders that get burned on this, whether they own actual shares or just share the consequences


How is compensation in equity short term? It usually comes with a vesting period so that the reward is in the future.

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/stockcompensation.asp

https://www.equilar.com/reports/3-equity-vesting-schedules.h...

The only thing that could incentivize more long term performance would be even longer vesting periods, but that comes with downsides too.


In one sense it’s sort of a moot point, as companies that hire this type of executive will in the long term be driven out of business by those who don’t.

But I don’t think you can properly incentivize people to avoid this class of mistake (short-term thinking) unless top leadership are themselves long-term owners.

Long-term owners would be very interested in avoiding this mistake, though. But it does present a bit of a tax on e.g. public companies with fragmented ownership.


I echo the complains about the default interface becoming worse with every update (especially on mobile, where it's borderline unusable) but I think it's interesting to see where this trend is headed.

It seems obvious to me that Reddit is trying very hard to transition from link aggregator to full blown social network. It's pretty wild when you remember that the original reddit didn't even have comments!

But now they self-host photos, videos, galleries, chatrooms, custom user pages etc... They're not a link aggregator anymore, they're trying to be Instagram for people who think they're too cool for Instagram.

But if you want to become Instagram you need to be an app first and a website 2nd, so they're working very hard to kill the web.

I sorta sort of look forward for the day they kill old.reddit.com and i.reddit.com, this way I won't have any excuse to browse the website anymore which will free some time for more interesting things.


I want to thank the admins that made the app and the web one of the worst. You helped cure my reddit addiction. I now open it only once or twice a month.

You cannot view comment replies on the web. You cannot view any sub on the web. You cannot even read full comments.

Seriously. Thanks. I even started studying for my exams!


Add me to the list, though I'd say it was 40% due to the web experience and 60% due to the content. Not only is it designed to make you feel like you accomplished something in life just by reading the headline, but much of them are just blatent falsehoods or outright lies. As in, the events didn't happen, or the image isn't from that day, or the event and the image are from years ago but used to stoke outrage in the present about something unrelated.

Edit: 50-60% on the web UI. I forgot about AMP pages.


Reddit front page is deliberately designed to keep you agitated on one hand and then keep coming back for some soothing oxytocin rush as the antidote on the same page.

Also, most "general" subs celebrate mediocrity.


That's an archetypal abusive relationship


Not all relationship/interactions with social media will be positive or neutral. Everybody knows about social media addiction already, for example. The analogy of abusive relationship IRL with various web dark patterns seems new.

Its interesting to contemplate if entirely new mental illnesses will eventually be discovered via toxic social media sites. I mean entirely new modes of dysfunction not merely "it used to be rare".


By design though, like most mass media sites.


I think content is fine there is ton of subreddits that are very similar to old school bbs. As long as you don't browse front page or big generic subreddits reddit is fine.


I have a curated list of subreddits, and I only use the original UI on the web. Otherwise reddit's designs are garbage.


Use rss: https://www.reddit.com/r/pathogendavid/comments/tv8m9/pathog...

I moved to using inoreader recently from an OSS one. I really like it. I have my own instance of rsshub for hostile sites.

Consistent UI/UX, no toxic comments (train a filter), automatically archived, easier to share, can send to kindle, full text search of everything I read, no more ads/tracking/email subscription spam, keyboard navigation, works good on my terminal, etc.

https://www.inoreader.com/


The old school BBs didn't have a steady stream of internet riff-raff wandering through and defecating on the lawn. Every single "everything" platform that has user comments has this problem. Reddit and Twitter both make this problem particularly insidious by facilitating cross communication (cross posts and retweets) between the sub groups. It is impossible for subject or niche specific communities to have a high quality existence in this environment. For all their ills at least the chans make a good faith attempt to run "containment boards" to mitigate this problem on their own site.


I loved BBS's back in the day and I missed that feeling :/ Any subreddit suggestions for me ?


https://www.reddit.com/r/BreadStapledToTrees/ Always delivers exactly what it promises.


Okay so sure BreadStapledToTrees contains images of bread stapled to trees. But why? I mean, why do people go around stapling bread to trees, photographing it and posting it on r/BreadStapledToTrees and enjoying it, and enjoying others posting the same? I am confused.


There is only one way to truly understand. Take a slice of bread, bring a stapler, staple the slice of bread to a tree somewhere, snap a good picture of it and upload the picture to the subreddit. Then you will understand. It is the only way. It cannot be explained, it needs to be experienced in order to be understood.


Sometimes you're the tree. Sometimes you're the bread. Sometimes you're the staple holding it all together.


r/AskHistorians is amazing. It is probably the most well run and informative subreddit on the whole site.


Every highly curated subreddit seems to have a regression toward some sort of lowest common denominator and any sort of deviance gets crushed even if it's good correct content that shouldn't be. I'm no historian but seeing this behavior in every subreddit where I have the experience to recognize BS makes me very skeptical of the idea that other subreddits are not doing the same.


What's keeping it on Reddit, just inertia?


r/AskHistorians has some very good posts, but it also has a good deal of misinformation, even coming from flaired users. The big problem with it is that the user base and the mods tend to believe that it's accuracy is better than it actually is (and comments from the mods seem to encourage this overestimation). I've seen many people who believe that if a flaired user on r/AskHistorians says something, then it's true (there seems to be a lot of people like that on the aptly named r/badhistory sub, for example).

In addition, their yearly April Fools' events (a bad idea in my view) as well the generally poor quality of posts during the first few years makes searching for past answers a pain. You get a ton of information that's flat out wrong, and in the case of April Fools' events the wrong information was actually encouraged (or written) by mods.


It's indeed goldmine for anyone who's into history. I'm debating myself if this sub is good enough to keep Reddit around or am I better off to just stay completely away.


Log off and bookmark the specific reddit. It's only addictive if you use the home page features.


I was usually using the Reddit is Fun app, but yeah maybe a direct subreddit link in browser could be a good middle road.


/r/homelab is great, but you'll probably end up with a rack in your living room at some point. /r/mechanicalkeyboards was great at least, but due to my inactivity I can't talk about the last few months.


The content is consequent to the UI.


I'm adding my voice to this thread.

I used to browse and post a lot on reddit. Mostly in the subreddits relevant to my interests and hobbies, but sometimes I'd open /r/all and drown in the algorithm-generated feed. It was so easy to waste time on reddit.

I'm thankful for the user-hostile experience they've implemented. Made it so much easier to stop using it altogether.


You can still browser old UI without any of these issues via https://old.reddit.com AFAIK


Then sometimes you click a link and it takes you out of old and into the hellscape that is modern reddit.

Can't wait until some manager decides old needs to go. They'll end up losing a bunch of long time users and some other site will finally gain traction.


If you're on desktop Reddit Enhancement Suite has an option for forcing the old version. I've never been brought back to the new design.

But yeah, old.reddit.com probably won't be around forever.


In my discussions with Reddit admins, they've said that old.reddit.com will be around forever. However, it won't get new features (or a very watered down version of new features).

After all, .compact links [0] still work, and those are super old.

[0] https://www.reddit.com/r/hackernews/comments/imcl1h/reddit_a...


Yea sure, and Oculus will never require a Facebook account.


>However, it won't get new features

From the new features they have been adding lately, I'd call this a benefit... And that is the big disconnect between admins and the old community.


It's also just a regular profile setting to use the old design. RES isn't required.


This has some serious Eternal September vibes, like when we reached the tipping point of more normies than nerds using the web. It makes me unreasonably angry that average users are being led down this path and are blithely accepting it, with those who object seemingly a shrinking minority.

I was practically shouting at my screen the first couple times I got thrown into the new design (before I figured out how to avoid it). If reddit really does shut down the old interface, I will absolutely be gone.


> This has some serious Eternal September vibes, like when we reached the tipping point of more normies than nerds using the web.

Sure, but there's something positive about this. Usenet's external September happend with maybe a million users, Reddit's with hundreds of millions. Which means that bigger communities are possible without the problems happening :)

On the other hand, Reddit surely changed during its growth, so there were probably multiple similar events. After all, HN was created as PG felt that was not a good place to discuss startup ideas.


There is a plugin for chrome which forces old.reddit.com, can't remember the name but should be easy enough to find. And for mobile I use the Apollo app, which is fantastic. I've actually switched from using reddit mostly on desktop to using it almost exclusively on mobile because Apollo is so good


I added a rule in HTTPS Everywhere that redirects everything to the old site.


Even if that’s possible I personally feel that if those who run Reddit don’t want to web experience to be user-focused then I feel that I don’t want to spend my time there. I rather use HN or Lobsters instead.


I'd never heard of Lobsters before, I am assuming you are referring to this site: https://lobste.rs/ Looks interesting, thanks!


I occasionally checked https://tildes.net/


This seems great, thanks for the recommendation. I love that gruvbox and atom one are default themes.


i.reddit.com is even better.

Edit: As a number of others have mentioned below. I too have reduced reddit intake due to the poor UI amongst a realisation of its not a good use of my time.


Last time I saw the redesign, there was an option to "opt out of the redesign" in the user menu. It worked — I have never seen it again.


You can even set the old UI to be your default in your preferences, so it will even render the old UI on the standard domain.


The preferences require that you're logged in. If you're logged in, then reddit knows how frequently you're checking r/ChainLinkFences.


There's a Firefox add-on that will ensure that you always see the old Reddit, even without logging in.


The problem seems bigger than user hostile UI.

If the company decided to make the UI not friendly, they will likely continue to make user hostile decisions in the name of maximising growth and profits.

In this case using addons seems like playing catch up with low chance of a long term win.


Not on mobile though...


On mobile and non-mobile, I use Firefox' Redirector addon to redirect all reddit links to https://ns.reddit.com/* which might be the same as old.reddit.com


Then download one of the many applications that use reddit's API and enjoy it before they shut down that too.


Well, full support for add-ons is coming to Firefox Nightly for Android soon(ish), at least.


... checks r/ChainLinkFences ...

NOW there's a sub that needs more love imho.


Wouldn’t they know via fingerprinting your device via the device settings or IP?


They could but seeing how good Reddit's UI is, how good do you think their log scraping is? And do they have the budget for keeping all access logs of anonymous users so they can try to line up all the ChainLinkFence enthusiasts with the people who also frequent r/MarijuanaEnthusiasts and r/WhiteMenGoneWild.


Unfortunately if you make a new account, they have removed that option


Yup web experience is horrible... went to checking on reddit a few times a day to maybe once a week. Much like medium when I see "that popup" - I just close and move on.


Same for me. I use Reddit much less these days, much because of the horrible web UI.


Same here.


Same here but mostly because the content quality goes downhill after a critical mass of subscribers is reached and every subreddit I like suffered that fate sooner or later. At some point you might as well browse 9gag.


9gag's web UI is way better than the new Reddit UI


Dito, I visited reddit many times per day a few years ago. That all changed with the new web app. Yes, old.reddit.com exists, but the old web app acted as a kind of gatekeeper the same way the ancient design of HN acts as a gatekeeper. With the new shiny web UI, different people came to reddit. From a marketing perspective, this was a great short-term success. From a quality perspective, a long-term decline began.


On iOS I’m using Apollo. To open directly in the app it provides a share menu action. There is also “Opener” to open links in all kinds of apps


On Android, I found Infinity for Reddit. Open source and ad free.

It's the best on android, but I haven't used it for more than a week or two. Don't want to get addicted again.


Slide is also Open Source, ad free, free and available on f-droid.


One thing that I missed on Slide was default sorting by 'hot'.

Sorting by hot gives you posts from smaller subs you like and removes all the political shenanigans


My Slide sorts by hot by default


Okay. I just downloaded it to check.

I meant 'best'. Not 'hot'.

Sorting by 'best' gives you content from smaller subs.

I have asked the dev to implement it. I have not gotten any reply.


cant found it



I went cold turkey (blocked in my hosts file on my laptop) 4 years ago. Hands down the best single decision I've ever made.


The problem with blocking it is that reddit is not just for time wasting. It's also currently the most popular forum host for all sorts of experts, from audiophiles to network engineers. Whenever I have a technical query and Google is returning a whole load of SEO spam I append 'reddit' or a stack exchange site to the query and can fairly reliably expect to discover a technical subreddit which answers my question and where the best answers are the most visible, thanks to voting.


True for me as well I’m not good at all with managing this addiction and being banned from commenting here helps as well reddit has been making it easy as has Facebook with instagram and onlyfans has no discovery it’s a good time I only wish reaspike would do something as well


Yes, I probably never got into pointlessly wasting time on Reddit because I refuse to be conned by the dark patterns they use to send you to the App. It's a forum website and I really do not see why it's so popular when they treat their users like idiots.

To be fair they aren't the only company that does this, Twitter and YouTube both have horrible web apps that have horrendous bugs and needlessly missing features vs the native app.

Hacker news is basically the opposite site which is why I like it so much.


It didn't always used to be like this. I agree that if I were attempting to join and use Reddit today, I wouldn't last more than a few visits.


Someone should remind spez why we killed digg.


I don’t recognise your issue - I can go to reddit.com on iPhone Safari, access the mobile-optimised version of their new site, and the comments for every post are one tap away?

There are other issues, and it’s not great to use, but it is generally fully functional.


Without an account, I can't open hidden replies on Mobile. I see the first levels in a posting, but when I tap on "x more replies" I get a dialog demanding me to login and no way to avoid it and going directly to the replies. On desktop this still works fine.


They might've changed it back now, but last I tried they didn't let you see the posts in a subreddit on the mobile site.


I've been using the mobile website for 2 years now on iOS and I've always been able to view comments and replies to comments, browse other sub reddits, etc.

I'm really confused what OP is talking about...

The only annoying thing is having to press continue all the time to use safari.


It is in implemented in countries with less users.

If I am on a US or UK VPN, there are no login walls.

Try with an Indian IP.


I'm in Singapore. Only like 5m people here.




For the last few years, I've only used reddit through Relay for Reddit (Android app). The web experience is so awful that reddit has basically become a mobile only thing for me.


Same for me, as soon as I deleted Apollo ( to cure my addiction too) I use it less and less because the web UI makes me want to stop using it as soon as I open it.


I thought everyone loved infinite scroll? But seriously, it's just about the worst UI 'pattern' to have on a website.


I have to switch to desktop site mode to see comment replies. It's insane. Fortunately there's a slider on firefox.


Best and most accurate comment. I couldn't agree more. Because they force us to use this app, I stopped visiting reddit.


Same thing dude.

I probably spend like 50-40% less time on it.

I'm weary of download apps for content I should be able to view on a browser.

The app "mysteriously" takes up more space than the Chrome app to serve, arguably, less content.

I learned my lesson with the Facebook app, namely, that these companies are shady and their apps always require more privileges than necessary.


Exactly the same experience for me. There were times when I blocked Reddit via /etc/hosts for a productivity boost.

But now? I do not want the app and Reddit seems to not want me then. Definitely helps my productivity a whole lot!


I can view most one the web but it does require multiple refreshes, new sessions, etc on my iOS device. I only sign in to throwaway accounts ( to infrequently post) via desktop.


I also had this experience. I was a regular on a particular subreddit but the combination of awful website + censorship coming from above has made me stop using Reddit entirely.


Same here. Messing up the website and forcing users to install an app was the best thing that could happen to me: my days just went two hours longer and I started reading books.


Yep and a beatiful homepage competes with yahoo v1. And all those comments with flashing icons competes with the best strip clup in your town...


Ditto. The web experience is so user-unfriendly. I haven't been using reddit in a long time now and I am so much happier for it.


You can simply set your preferences to always use old.reddit.com, and it works fine.


If by works you mean that it resets several times per week.


mine hasn't reset in months. i don't think it ever has.


I can read full comments, but not some subs. Is there some a/b test going on?


When logged out they skew the comments and make it virtually impossible to follow a thread with a large number of comments


I never had an account on reddit, and I never had problems with browsing/expanding the comments too. I am not from either US/EU so by the looks of it and the input of others it might be more of a regional thing rather than a universal one thus the conflict of information in discussions.


Site works exactly the same logged in or logged out. Comments display the same?!?

Does anyone have a screenshot of this issue?


It is implemented in countries with less users only. To not piss off the majority in US/Uk.

Screenshots-

Any subreddit is like this on the web - https://i.postimg.cc/x1XcGBbr/photo-2020-09-04-15-23-09.jpg

Comments - https://i.postimg.cc/YC6TPCFQ/photo-2020-09-04-15-25-45.jpg




I've had a similar phenomena. I've hit the lock when directly opening a subreddit link, but when I added a search filter etc I could open it normally.


I'm in the UK and the comments are all collapsed after a couple in each thread with "view more comments".

The most ridiculous thing is that if you click the "read more" link, it doesn't even work properly, the behaviour is incredibly stupid.


I believe you can view subs and comments only when you are linked from the homepage.


You could use Reddit Sync. It's worked very well for years


I miss alien blue so much...


Check out the Apollo app.


Same for me. I realized that reddit is yet another huge media corporation who just wants your sweet sweet data so they can resell it. If the blatant racist policies and heavy handed moderation of opinions wasn't enough.


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