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Reddit Looks to Expand the Use of its ‘Reddit Talks’ Audio Rooms Option

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Reddit Looks to Expand the Use of its 'Reddit Talks' Audio Rooms Option


While audio social has lost some momentum after the sudden rise of Clubhouse early last year, the capacity to tune in and connect with people in a less intrusive, more relaxed live format still holds significant appeal, and significant potential in various forms, and in various apps.

And while Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces are the most prominent platforms in this respect, Reddit, too, has been seeing success with its own ‘Reddit Talk’ option, which it first launched last April, and has since been quietly expanding to more of its highly engaged communities, offering another way to extend Reddit chats to another medium.

Indeed, Reddit says that more than 1,000 subreddits now have access to the option, which has lead to more than 250% growth in daily active listeners of Reddit Talk sessions over the last three months.

That’s significant, and given the rising interest, Reddit’s now looking to put more focus on Reddit Talk chats, as it works to expand its user engagement options, and the overall utility of the app.

First off, Reddit’s making Reddit Talk chats more prominent, with a new, Twitter Spaces-like feed of live chats in progress, within the subreddits that you follow, along the top bar of the app.

That’s a big shift, and Reddit users will definitely have ‘feelings’ about it. Reddit’s highly engaged communities are generally resistant to change, especially anything that dilutes the focus of the app, and that will likely see some backlash to this update, which will change user home screens.

But it could also get more people tuning in to relevant chats, which could be a big step for the app.

The advantage Reddit has in this respect is that in launching Reddit Talk within specific communities, it can highlight in-progress chats to the followers of each, ensuring optimal discovery, without users having to sort through a massive list of in-progress chats for themselves (ala Twitter and Clubhouse) to find something potentially of interest.

That’s more specifically a problem on Twitter Spaces – if you tap on the Spaces tab in the app right now, you better be into NFTs, because virtually every live chat at any given time is focused on NFTs and/or crypto, with few alternative conversations weaved in-between.

Discovery remains the bugbear of both Spaces and Clubhouse, and Reddit’s approach, much like Facebook rolling its audio rooms out to specific influencers and groups, could actually be a much better way to maximize user discovery, and interest in the option.

This new top-of-feed display could be an annoyance to some, but it could also be a great way to maximize Reddit Talk engagement.

Reddit’s also launching Talk recordings, enabling users to tune into chats after the fact.

Starting today, when a redditor visits a Reddit Talk post from a past live session, they’ll be able to listen to a recording of the conversation. The new feature includes a playback bar that enables redditors to skip to any timestamp, pause or unpause, and fast-forward or rewind 10 seconds at a time.

Reddit Talk update

That’s another key step, helping to boost the utility of Reddit audio chats, which could also provide more incentive for users to broadcast in the app, as a means to build their profile and following on the platform.

Reddit’s also adding text and emojis to help users participate in a Talk.

“Previously, redditors who were listening to a Talk were able to raise their hand to join the stage, but couldn’t comment in real time. Enabling comments and emojis makes Talks easier to engage with, even without speaking.

Reddit Talk update

And finally, it’s also bringing Reddit Talk to the web, providing more ways for listeners to tune in.

Reddit Talk update

Again, while some of the air has been let out of the social audio hype bubble, for many users, it’s now become a habitual, regular option, which, while not being as big a deal as it once was, has provided more utility, and more options for connection in each app.

On Reddit, that could actually be significant, providing an alternative way for Redditors to connect beyond clever comment replies and awards allocated by other users. Which could lead to new communities forming, stronger bonds in each group, and more opportunities for Reddit to play a bigger connective role in the broader social media space.

Really, it’s a logical progression for Reddit communication, and while it’s a little different to other social audio options, those differences may actually be of benefit to Reddit’s specific use case, and boosting utility in the app.



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Oversight board slams Meta for special treatment of high-profile users

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Facebook's Meta funded attack campaign against TikTok: report

Photo: — © AFP

An oversight panel said on Tuesday Facebook and Instagram put business over human rights when giving special treatment to rule-breaking posts by politicians, celebrities and other high-profile users.

A year-long probe by an independent “top court” created by the tech firm ended with it calling for the overhaul of a system known as “cross-check” that shields elite users from Facebook’s content rules.

“While Meta told the board that cross-check aims to advance Meta’s human rights commitments, we found that the program appears more directly structured to satisfy business concerns,” the panel said in a report.

“By providing extra protection to certain users selected largely according to business interests, cross-check allows content which would otherwise be removed quickly to remain up for a longer period, potentially causing harm.”

Cross-check is implemented in a way that does not meet Meta’s human rights responsibilities, according to the board.

Meta told the board the program is intended to provide an additional layer of human review to posts by high-profile users that initially appear to break rules for content, the report indicated.

That has resulted in posts that would have been immediately removed being left up during a review process that could take days or months, according to the report.

“This means that, because of cross-check, content identified as breaking Meta’s rules is left up on Facebook and Instagram when it is most viral and could cause harm,” the board said.

An independent oversight board created by Meta is calling on the Facebook-parent led by Mark Zuckerberg to overhaul its special handling of content posted by VIPs – Copyright GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP WIN MCNAMEE

Meta also failed to determine whether the process had resulted in more accurate decisions regarding content removal, the board said.

Cross-check is flawed in “key areas” including user equality and transparency, the board concluded, making 32 recommended changes to the system.

Content identified as violating Meta’s rules with “high severity” in a first assessment “should be removed or hidden while further review is taking place,” the board said.

“Such content should not be allowed to remain on the platform accruing views simply because the person who posted it is a business partner or celebrity.”

The Oversight Board said it learned of cross-check in 2021, while looking into and eventually endorsing Facebook’s decision to suspend former US president Donald Trump.

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