After testing them with “Game of Thrones” fans and a few dozen other Subreddits for the past couple of months, Reddit is now launching two new post types to its entire user base: Events will help communities with discussions about TV show episodes, awards shows, breaking news and more; Collections will help to curate posts, and make Reddit’s fast-paced discussions a bit easier to digest for newcomers.
Events posts help moderators of a Reddit community to schedule posts related to an upcoming event, and then facilitate timely discussions as that event unfolds. Reddit senior product manager Adam Barton said that the creation of this post type was very much a response to existing user behavior.
“People hosted a lot of events” around newsworthy subjects, he said — only, in the past, this required moderators to hack together solutions to queue up posts, including bots that would grab pre-written posts from Wikis to get the ball rolling on time. Now, all moderators have to do is click a button to schedule a post as an event.
Collections can work hand-in-hand with events, and serve as a way to aggregate events in a community — something that the “Game of Thrones” Subreddit moderators have been doing with events posts related to episodes of the show.
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This can also help people who may have missed an episode of a TV show to find and participate in discussions about past episodes — something that hasn’t been as easy in the past with Reddit’s existing feed, or with newsfeeds on other social networks. “You don’t really have people to talk (to) if you are behind,” said Barton. “Everybody is behind on something.”
In addition, Collections can also be used to curate essential discussions on the key topics of a Subreddit, making it easier for first-time visitors to find what they’re looking for. For instance, moderators may choose to aggregate some of the best “ask me anything” (AMA) interviews that their Subreddit has hosted in the past.
Creating an event post on Reddit.
Reddit has also seen communities use Collections and Events for book clubs, recurring posts within a community (“Moronic Monday” “Wacky Wednesday” etc.), sports events, and even as a way to break down complex topics like E.U. copyright law changes. That kind of range wouldn’t have been possible if Reddit had automated the curation based on tags or topics, argued Barton. “We intentionally built it broad,” he said. “We are trying to make it so communities can express themselves.”
Both Events and Collections also offer an option to follow them directly, which allows users to get notifications around a single live event without having to subscribe to an entire Subreddit. This could help make Reddit as a whole more approachable to new users. Said Barton: “We want to lower the barrier.”