If you hadn’t heard, short-form video is hugely popular right now, and as a result, almost every platform is seeking its own ways to tap into this consumption shift, and cater to increased user demand for short, sharp video clips, in order to maximize engagement.
Reddit is the latest cab off the short-form video ranks, with the platform looking to maximize the rising interest in video on the platform by implementing its own TikTok-esque feed of short video clips, aligned with specific user interests based on the subreddits that they follow in the app.
As reported by TechCrunch:
“According to Reddit, most iOS users should have a button on their app directly to the right of the search bar – when tapped, it will show a stream of videos in a TikTok-like configuration. When presented with a video, (which shows the poster who uploaded it and the subreddit it’s from), users can upvote or downvote, comment, gift an award or share it. Like TikTok, users can swipe up to see another video, feeding content from subreddits the user is subscribed to, as well as related ones. For instance, if you’re subscribed to r/printmaking, you might see content from r/pottery or r/bookbinding.”
Reddit doesn’t have a dedicated short video camera, as such but instead, it will look to utilize the video clips that users have already uploaded within their regular posts, with most being very short already, aligning with platform usage.
Which is the same approach that YouTube has taken with Shorts. Rather than focusing on specifically created Shorts clips, YouTube already hosts a huge library of short videos that it can feed into its Shorts system. By utilizing its existing video resources, YouTube has been able to enhance its focus on short video viewing, in line with habitual shifts.
Indeed, Short clips are already seeing 15 billion daily views in the app, and a lot, if not the majority of these clips, were not created in the dedicated Shorts Camera, but have been taken from YouTube’s broader content collection.
Reddit will be hoping for similar success, meeting user demand for short video with its existing content, which could help to boost engagement with this specific element.
The updated video player comes after Reddit acquired interactive video app Dubsmash late last year. Dubsmash enables users to lip-synch and dance to audio tracks, in a similar vein to TikTok.
The new short video player seems to be a first key step towards integrating elements of Dubsmash into Reddit itself, which will no doubt eventually see further connection between the two apps as Reddit seeks to maximize its short video resources.
Like all platforms, Reddit has seen a steady increase in video engagement, especially over the last 12 months. Thousands of Redditors have now used the platform’s RPAN live-streaming functionality, which has steadily gained more traction over time, while video viewing, overall, in the app grew 2x in 2020.
Aligning with the short-form trend, then, makes a lot of sense, and you can expect to see even more development on this front over time as Reddit learns from its initial tests and looks to meet increasing video demand.
The new Reddit video player format is now available on iOS.
UK teen died after ‘negative effects of online content’: coroner
Molly Russell was exposed to online material ‘that may have influenced her in a negative way’ – Copyright POOL/AFP/File Philip FONG
A 14-year-old British girl died from an act of self harm while suffering from the “negative effects of online content”, a coroner said Friday in a case that shone a spotlight on social media companies.
Molly Russell was “exposed to material that may have influenced her in a negative way and, in addition, what had started as a depression had become a more serious depressive illness,” Andrew Walker ruled at North London Coroner’s Court.
The teenager “died from an act of self-harm while suffering depression”, he said, but added it would not be “safe” to conclude it was suicide.
Some of the content she viewed was “particularly graphic” and “normalised her condition,” said Walker.
Russell, from Harrow in northwest London, died in November 2017, leading her family to set up a campaign highlighting the dangers of social media.
“There are too many others similarly affected right now,” her father Ian Russell said after the ruling.
“At this point, I just want to say however dark it seems, there is always hope.
“I hope that this will be an important step in bringing about much needed change,” he added.
The week-long hearing became heated when the family’s lawyer, Oliver Sanders, took an Instagram executive to task.
A visibly angry Sanders asked Elizabeth Lagone, the head of health and wellbeing at Meta, Instagram’s parent company, why the platform allowed children to use it when it was “allowing people to put potentially harmful content on it”.
“You are not a parent, you are just a business in America. You have no right to do that. The children who are opening these accounts don’t have the capacity to consent to this,” he said.
Lagone apologised after being shown footage, viewed by Russell, that “violated our policies”.
Of the 16,300 posts Russell saved, shared or liked on Instagram in the six-month period before her death, 2,100 related to depression, self-harm or suicide, the inquest heard.
Children’s charity NSPCC said the ruling “must be a turning point”.
“Tech companies must be held accountable when they don’t make children’s safety a priority,” tweeted the charity.
“This must be a turning point,” it added, stressing that any delay to a government bill dealing with online safety “would be inconceivable to parents”.
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