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Reddit Introduces Real Time Updates With Reddit Live

Breaking News As It Happens, And Probably Cats Too

Reddit has introduced a new feature, Reddit Live, which will allow users to create threads with the capacity for real time updates and comments. Comments and edits will appear without users having to refresh the page, and contributors will not be restricted in the frequency or volume of their comments, as is currently the case with standard threads.

Reddit has garnered media attention – not always positive – for the quick and active engagement of its users during events like the Boston Marathon bombings and Hurricane Sandy. During such events Reddit serves as a place where people can submit and gather information from those close to the action, and the website’s administrators hope that this new feature will allow for a quicker and smoother distribution of information and commentary.

Currently only individual’s approved by the thread’s creator will be able to contribute, in order to keep submissions to a manageable level. Those responsible for the development have not yet ruled out the possibility of mass participation live threads, however, assuming such obstacles can be overcome.

Reddit has grown in recent years from a simple link aggregator site into a well-developed social media platform, with a diverse and engaged community. The actions of its members have frequently broken through to the mainstream media, and its crowd-sourced information on quickly developing events often outpaces traditional news sources. Reddit’s developers hope that by facilitating this process the website will continue to develop as a legitimate alternative news source for those seeking dynamic updates.

Beyond the potential for news-gathering the site also boasts a series of communities based around different sports and teams, and the potential for live user commentary on games holds exciting possibilities for future mass engagement in sporting events. Social media has been trending towards this sort of real-time updating ever since Facebook introduced the Live Feed in 2009, and this move by Reddit could be seen as a belated attempt to present an alternative to Twitter as the go-to platform for live updates on world events. By restricting contributions to named members Reddit may be hoping to prioritise quality of submission over the wall of noise which Twitter can sometimes generate.

While the Reddit community has traditionally been hostile to corporate involvement, this new development may allow for companies to run promotions on particular events based around these live threads. The most immediate test will be how this live feature works on mobile devices, and whether the quality and consistency of submissions holds up as the feature moves out of beta. Regardless, it is an interesting step for ‘the front page of the internet’ and marks a move towards a more directly interactive social aspect from a site which has struggled to overcome the split between content and commentary.


Douglas is an English Literature graduate who has written about everything from music to food to theatre, now a content creator for Social Media Frontiers. No topic too large or too small. Follow him @DouglasAtSMF.

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Reddit Introduces Real Time Updates With Reddit Live Reviewed by Anonymous on Friday, July 25, 2014 Rating: 5
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