Reddit at the best of times can be the scene for some of the internet’s craziest discussions and ideas. With most countries in some form of lockdown, Traffic on Reddit has surged as people look for information and entertainment online with the company reporting an 80% spike in real-time chat usage since late January.
Expect that conversation to increase even more as Reddit has announced a new feature called Start Chatting that allows users to easily join small, randomly generated chat groups with other like-minded members of their communities.
To participate, logged in redditors will simply need to visit a community and click the ‘Start Chatting’ button — found at the top right of a community’s page (next to the ‘Join Community’ button) — which will direct them to a randomly generated, community-themed chat room. Start Chatting will be accessible across desktop and mobile platforms from today
This new feature is also part of Reddit’s broader efforts to help users stay informed and connected during this time, including a dedicated AMA series to connect users with authoritative experts and medical professionals, as well as homepage banners directing users to the CDC and r/coronavirus. Reddit has also extended RPAN live broadcasting hours (business hours Monday through Friday) and launched a new custom feed called ‘Stay Home,’ which highlights entertaining and uplifting content to help users connect and decompress. As revealed by Alex Le, VP of Product and Community at Reddit:
After seeing a spike of Redditors using chat, we moved quickly to create Start Chatting so we could provide users with more intimate, real-time interactive experiences. This is the most connective feature that Reddit has added in light of COVID-19 and we’ll continue to introduce products that bring together and inform users in a beneficial way so that we can all get through this together.
So, if you’re someone who loves exploring the vast catacombs of Reddit chat and finding similarly crazy people to talk to, it will now be even easier to do so. At least if you are in need of some help during these trying times, there will be an opportunity for you to do this too, although I’m not sure there are enough doctors in the world to cure so many internet users of their craziness.
Last Updated: April 29, 2020