Reddit is updating its app to focus more on comments


Reddit is updating its mobile app on iOS and Android to emphasize comments, the company said today. The handful of changes announced are aimed at “removing hurdles and reducing friction points,” the company wrote in a blog post.

The changes are subtle but add up to comments becoming more of a focal point in the user experience. Comments will now load faster and open in an “instant” when users click on the comment icon of a post. Clicking the comments icon takes users straight to the top comment, essentially bypassing the original post.

A “context bar” with the original post will be pinned to the top of the screen with the text, image, or video content compressed. Clicking on the thumbnail will take the user back to the original post’s text or to an expanded image.

The update also streamlines how users navigate to comments, creating consistency between different types of posts (text, video, and images). Now, users can swipe left between new posts and swipe up to go straight to the comment section, regardless of the type of media in the original post.

The tweaks suggest Reddit is working to encourage more engagement via comments and beyond simply reading or viewing posts — but it could lead to some missed context. For example, I’ve gotten into the habit of immediately clicking the comments icon on an image post (instead of clicking on the picture itself) so I can open the full post without expanding the image. But now, if I did that, the app would jump straight to the comments and compress the image and caption. In other words, this new feature may lead some people to miss details in a post if they click the comments icon by habit or forget to scroll up.