A hot potato: The feature sounds a lot like old-school themed chat rooms of yesteryear where Internet users could congregate and strike up a conversation with others over a shared topic. But, today’s Internet is far different than what was around 25 years ago. In short, it’s a far less friendly place full of scammers and bots. Judging from some of the feedback the announcement post is getting, lots of people just want to be left alone.

Reddit has introduced a new feature designed to help connect people with like-minded individuals who share a similar interest and want to talk about it.

During this unprecedented time of isolation due to varying lockdown orders, the news aggregator said members have been using chat at “phenomenal new levels.” Since the platform is in a unique position to help during this situation, Reddit said it created a new tool that makes it easier for folks to find others that want to talk about the same things they do.

To try it out, simply visit one of your favorite subreddits and click the Start Chatting button.

As of writing, chat is active for around half of all communities. Reddit said it was careful to consider things like abuse vectors when selecting participating communities. The team is also actively working to update the UI so it is clear that the feature and matching logic behind it is coming from Reddit, not individual mods or communities.

Masthead credit: chrisdorney