Reddit, the self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet,” has just stepped into the video hosting game. The social news site has rolled out a new feature that allows certain pre-approved communities to upload video directly to the site. Reddit began beta testing the feature in late June with around 200 existing subreddits, and says it’s now ready to expand the feature to other communities all they have to do is get in touch with the sites moderators.
In the past, most of the videos on Reddit were just YouTube links, or videos chopped up into GIFs hosted by third-party tools. Reddit sees this prossess as too complex for less internet savvy users, and hopes to fix the issue with the addition of the new feature.
The lack of video hosting capabilities also fractures discussion between where the content is hosted and where a user wants to discuss, according to Emon Motamedi, Reddit’s product manager for video, “You go to YouTube to watch the video and you come back to Reddit to comment.” That’s not ideal. “Because our platform has the best comments on the internet and because it’s such a big use case for our users, we wanted to build that in-house,” Motamedi told the Verge.
Of course, those aren’t the only motives behind the new feature. Emon Motamedi said that at launch, the new native videos won’t have any ads attached to them, but that he wouldn’t rule out pre-rolls or similar formats in future, “That is something we will evaluate going forward,” he said.
A little extra change in the pocket from pre-roll and similar format ads could be nice for the website, who has been selling ad space since 2009. The company also earns revenue from selling brand products and Reddit Gold, a membership plan that allows users to pay for premium features.