11mo ago

Thoughts on the Reddit blackout and community relocation

"The good thing with Reddit is that it replaces the need for individual companies to make forums, which is something most are not good at.”

Sentiment towards Reddit is still souring in the wake of their unpopular developer pricing changes, and we're seeing a bunch of product communities discussing the possibility of relocation.

Some of these communities are both ‘unofficial’ and deeply established, having been created before the company started their own. This makes relocation decisions super interesting: where the unofficial community decides to live is not always up to the business, even if it becomes their primary channel for community engagement.

It's a good reminder for product companies to establish an official community early on: decisions about where a community is hosted can have wide-reaching impact on visibility, control, and the long-term value that teams can derive from it.

The comment up top is from a discussion in the Obsidian subreddit, and speaks to one of the core challenges we're working on at Outverse: making it easy for product companies to create intuitive, well-designed, custom community spaces. They don’t need to be “good at making forums” anymore.

If Reddit's struggles continue, it'll be interesting to see where these unofficial product communities decide to go next. In the meantime, the Reddit situation at large is a good reminder that being community-first is a choice – and even as a community platform, it’s possible to get that wrong.

1 reply
(edited) 11mo ago

Reddit sentiment is waivering but Reddit is in a challenging spot. The company isn't profitable. As a venture backed company, with stakeholders likely not interested in further dilution to extend the unprofitable runway, Reddit has to do something.

While I think it's really challenging to see 3rd party providers impacted, and while I understand the core functionality of Reddit relies on various 3rd party bots to fight bots and spam, I am not sure I wouldn't make the same decision under the same (presumably high) amounts of pressure that the executive team is likely under.

It's a good reminder for product companies to establish an official community early on: decisions about where a community is hosted can have wide-reaching impact on visibility, control, and the long-term value that teams can derive from it.

I agree with this. You'll need to address this early. Reddit should have been planning to address this many moons ago.