In the beginning, there was chaos, and out of that chaos came short-form video on social media. Twitter tried it; TikTok perfected it; Instagram wants to dominate it; and now, Reddit is throwing its little alien antenna in the ring, reportedly test-driving a new short video feed on its iOS app.
The platform’s latest addition is tucked away inside a glowing orange video player button on the homepage of Reddit’s iOS app. When clicked, users are redirected to an infinite scroll video player nearly identical to TikTok’s in both form and functionality. Swiping up will move you along to the next video, and icons on the righthand sidebar give users the option to share, comment, upvote, or downvote the content in question.
According to TechCrunch, users’ video feeds will be comprised of content from any subreddits they’re subscribed to, and will also pull content from any subreddits related to their interests. If there’s an algorithm being used to determine which types of content users are being served in their feeds, Reddit’s not saying — for now, at least.
“Reddit’s mission is to bring community and belonging to everyone in the world, and subsequently, Reddit’s video team’s mission is to bring community through video,” a Reddit spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Over the course of the last year, our goal was to build a unified video player, and re-envision the player interface to match what users (new and old) expect when it comes to an in-app video player — especially commenting, viewing, engaging, and discovering new content and communities through video.”
As it must be noted — frequently, and in increasingly louder tones — Reddit is just the latest in a long line of social media platforms to adopt the look and feel of TikTok’s signature infinite video scroll. It should also be said that TikTok itself recently announced that it was appropriating its own version of Instagram’s disappearing “Stories,” which were, in and of themselves, basically clones of Snapchats, which this website once bravely concluded were just “Silicon Valley’s answer to dick pics.”
It should also be noted that TikTok was recently crowned as the world’s most downloaded app, leaving Facebook to enviously eye the throne.
All of this is really just to say that platforms are increasingly desperate to capture the coveted eyeballs of Gen Z, a cohort known for its nihilism, lack of attention span, and desire to eat Tide Pods. Just be grateful that Myspace didn’t live long enough to see itself become the villain, or we’d all be listening to My Chemical Romance while scrolling endlessly through our Top 8’s micro-content reels.