Reddit's New Discover Tab Has The Potential To Be A Huge Time Sink

If you feel like you haven't been spending enough time on Reddit, the app will now make it even easier for you to sink hours into scrolling. Reddit has just announced the release of a new Discover Tab, made to make it easier for users to discover new communities based on their interests. Launched on February 24, 2022, the new tab will be easy to access and, according to Reddit, packed full of relevant posts and communities. Reddit is also adding a few quality-of-life improvements in this update, referred to as "Community and Profile Drawers."

In the current version of Reddit, new communities are sometimes recommended to users via the main feed, and the Discover tab is said to improve on that drastically. Located to the right of the home button, the Discover feature will provide a much more visual experience than those little snippets of subreddits (communities) that sometimes popped up on the user's feed.

Reddit has opted to use media previews as opposed to text posts in its recommendations, adding the subreddit name at the top of a gif, photo, or video. This could potentially make the new communities more inviting, and perhaps give an accurate depiction of what kind of content you can expect from a certain subreddit. However, the company hasn't talked about what will happen to text-only subreddits, and whether such communities will still be recommended in this media-oriented Discover Tab.

Not all kinds of content will be recommended

In order to determine which subreddits should be recommended to a particular user, Reddit will take several factors into consideration. Current subscriptions will most likely have the biggest impact, so as Reddit says, users who follow baseball subreddits will be prompted to join other sports-related communities. The amount of time spent in certain communities will also be a factor. Of course, this only applies to existing Reddit users.

New users will be given recommendations based on what's currently popular on Reddit, so we're likely to see some of the top communities in the Discover tab. Once some browsing history has been built up, the tab will fill up with personalized recommendations. Reddit has, however, said that it won't use personal information to target its recommendations, such as age, gender, and location.

As TechCrunch reports, NSFW (not safe for work) subreddits will not be showcased in the Discover tab, so you can safely scroll through it while out in public. Quarantined or banned communities will also not be recommended, even if their ban or period of quarantine has already come to an end.

Reddit is prioritizing the mobile app

Reddit also recognizes that as users join more subreddits, keeping them organized may be difficult. This is why, in addition to the Discover tab, the social media app is adding specialized "drawers" for users to navigate the app easily. The Community Drawers are split up into four sections, including Moderating Entry Points, Your Communities, Following, and r/all as an entry point. The moderating tools will only be available to subreddit moderators, but the other three features are available to everyone.

In the Your Communities feature, users will be able to organize their subreddits into separate sections in order to navigate them more easily. The "Following" tab will be filled up with content from users that the person follows. Reddit is also adding a new Profile Drawer that can be accessed by swiping left or tapping the profile icon at the top right of the home screen.

All of these new features are definitely a much-needed update — the addition of the Discover tab marks the first major update to the Reddit app in two years. As of now, Reddit is not planning to update the web version of the social media platform, and will instead focus on the much more popular mobile app.