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Reddit's Initiative to Compensate Users for Popular Posts Set to Commence


Reddit has revealed its intention to compensate its top contributors for their popular posts, starting in the United States as of Tuesday. The platform plans to share revenue with individuals who receive "gold" awards from fellow users, who pay a fee for this privilege. The cost of gold awards will vary from $1.99 (£1.63) to $49 (£40), and users will be eligible to receive up to half of that amount.

This move represents a shift for the company, following a backlash in June when a significant portion of Reddit went offline in protest against its senior management. Although most groups on the platform eventually returned, some notable exceptions, such as a long-standing subreddit dedicated to transcribing images for visually impaired individuals, did not.

On Reddit, a subreddit is essentially a community where people gather to discuss specific interests. Reddit users, known as Redditors, typically join various subreddits and see posts from these communities in their feed, as opposed to following individual users as on other platforms.

Gold has been part of Reddit for some time, originally designed as a virtual reward for well-liked posts or comments. Users could pay a nominal fee to give another user gold, but it held no real-world value, with the fee contributing to platform maintenance. However, receiving gold had certain benefits, such as a week without seeing ads at one point, and later, a more expensive platinum award offering a month without ads.

The announcement has generated mixed reactions on the platform. Some Redditors are concerned that it might negatively impact the site's quality, while others remain cautiously optimistic. Social media expert Matt Navarra believes that Reddit needed a way to reward its most valuable users and foster income opportunities for top creators. However, he also acknowledges the risk that incentivizing users with real money might influence the type of content that becomes popular on Reddit, potentially leading to more divisive and controversial content.

Navarra also draws attention to how incentivizing content for ad revenue shares on other platforms has led to divisive and polarizing content, a situation that brands generally want to avoid. He notes that this challenge has affected individuals like Elon Musk and could pose a similar problem for Reddit's founders in the future.