Reddit is always looking for subtle, user-friendly ways to monetize the platform, and its latest revenue-generating tactic was just announced today. Starting today, Reddit will let moderators give users "Community Awards" sitewide. These Awards are essentially an expansion to Reddit's existing reward system.
For the unaware, Reddit has let users give each other Silver, Gold, and Platinum Awards for quite some time now. Each Award handed out will show its corresponding icon on a given user's post for all to see. These Awards are typically given to clever, interesting, or otherwise entertaining posts and users, and are purchased with "Reddit Coins," a digital currency acquired with real money.
Gold and Platinum Awards both give users free Reddit Premium subscriptions of varying lengths (one week and one month, respectively), whereas the Silver Award is purely an aesthetic gift. The site's Premium subscription removes ads, gives you a set allotment of coins every month, and unlocks access to a "Members-only Lounge."
The Community Award system is a similar idea, but they're better and worse in different ways. For example, though Community Awards still cost Coins to be handed out, they don't offer any concrete benefits to receivers.
However, they're also more customizable: moderators can choose the icon, name, and Coin price of each reward. In essence, this lets them create their own subreddit-specific Award shop for ordinary users to access (moderators don't earn a commission on "sales," though).
All in all, this is a clever way for Reddit to earn some extra cash while also offering additional ways for subreddit users to recognize community members who have contributed in a meaningful (or hilarious) way.