Reddit updates let you see how others are reacting right now

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New features in Reddit should drive engagement across the site, the company said.
New features in Reddit should drive engagement across the site, the company said.
Photo: Reddit

Social media site Reddit unveiled several new features Wednesday that let users immediately see how others are reacting to content in various ways. The changes should give users a better idea of what’s most popular — or unpopular — on the site. The company said they should increase engagement across Reddit.

These new real-time features include showing numbers of upvotes, downvotes and comments changing as they happen. Numbers of users will be indicated, but usernames won’t be shown.

Seeing real-time indicators could give Redditors a sense idea of the popularity of a post as they read it. Or it might also lead to an imitation game, where users upvote or downvote when they see others do it.

Reddit updates: Who’s reading what and who’s commenting?

Reddit said it will now also indicate the number of people reading a post in any case where five or more people are looking at it. And the site is also adding a pop-up typing indicator to show when two or more users are typing a comment.

And when new top-level comments come in, Reddit will show a new pill-shaped notification. When a user taps that notification, they will see the post’s comments sorted by most-recent additions.

New features in brief

Vote and Comment Count Animation

Users see vote counts go up or down in real time. As new comments are posted to content, the comment number on post and in-feed will change.

Typing Indicators

In a post, Redditors see how many other Redditors are actively typing via an anonymous avatar count shown in the comment window. No usernames are shown.

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Reading Indicators

Redditors see when two or more people are reading a post at any given time by displaying grouped up anonymous avatars in a pill at the top of the comment section, as well as in feed on the bottom of the post unit. Usernames are not shown.

New Comment Pill

Redditors see when new comments are being posted as they scroll through a post.

Optional, and only with the new Reddit design

The new features roll out Wednesday across desktop and mobile — but only on the newer Reddit design. People who still use the previous Reddit design won’t be able to access the changes.

The platform announced that vote and comment count animations are optional for Redditors, and can be turned off under user animation settings.