For someone who’s never used the site before, Reddit can be both confusing and slightly intimidating. But “the front page of the internet” is trying to rectify this by moving closer to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
As explained in a public post yesterday, Reddit is launching a new profile page experience. It’s initially being tested on a “very small number of Redditors,” who will be able to post directly to their own profiles and not just Reddit communities, though posts to the latter will also appear on the profile pages.
The description adds that the makeover will "better showcase the redditor's avatar, a short description and their posts." Users will be able to follow the beta testers’ profiles in the same way they follow a subreddit. Whenever a tester posts something, it will appear in their followers’ front page newsfeeds.
Users will be able to comment on profile posts, but can’t create new posts on another person’s profile page. Moderator responsibilities are in the hands of whoever creates the pages and authorized administrators.
In addition to potentially improving the look and feel of the site, the changes could help Reddit cast off its reputation for not always being the friendliest of places. Users with a history of toxic behavior may not be given access to the new feature, a way of preventing it from becoming "a vehicle for harassment or hate."
The change should result in Reddit becoming more accessible for new users, particularly those wary of violating its rules on self-promotion. “If you yourself are someone who wants to share something, it’s pretty daunting,” Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian told Reuters. “We’re in a position where we can start doing product improvements that are admittedly overdue but represent a real level up for Reddit.”
Assuming all goes well, the feature will be rolled out to everyone in the next few months.