Reddit is piloting new chat channels where you can hold real-time conversations with other users. The Discord-like channels will live within various subreddits, allowing you to swap between browsing through posts and chatting with other Redditors about a range of topics.
While this may sound a bit like Reddit’s Live Chat feature, the platform notes that chats “will be dedicated spaces, rather than a one-off post.” As shown in the below screenshot, it looks like you can tap into different conversations embedded inside of a subreddit, with each dedicated to a specific topic, like “Tickets” or “Songwriting.” You can also access your conversations within the main Chat tab on Reddit’s bottom menu bar.
The feature is just available on mobile for now and only in select subreddits. Reddit says it’s currently testing chats with 25 “small and medium-sized communities” that have less than 100,000 members but plans on expanding chats to other subreddits as time goes on.
This isn’t the first time Reddit has tried to integrate a chat feature into the platform. It first rolled out a community chat room feature in 2018 before eventually rolling it back, citing a lack of popularity. It tried adding built-in chat rooms again in 2020 but pulled the feature offline after just one day due to a bug that made the Start Chatting icon appear on every single subreddit. At the time, Reddit said it made “several errors” during the rollout and angered mods by leaving them unable to moderate chats.
Reddit says things are different this time around, though. It says it’s taking a “mod-first approach” based on “past Chat learnings,” which includes giving mods their own chat channels and a set of tools they can use to moderate chats.
The platform goes into a bit more detail in a post on r/modnews, where it says mods will be able to flag and remove content from chats as well as determine which users can participate. Additionally, Reddit says it has several other moderation features in the pipeline, including a way for mods to implement automod rules in chat channels and a slow mode that will make it easier to keep busy chats in check.