Reddit Case Study
Deepening connections and tightening communities for Reddit
"With Reddit chat, redditors really feel like they’re talking to another human being, even though they don’t know who that person is."
Lead Product Manager at Reddit
Reddit offers a network of thousands of communities for hundreds of millions of people around the world to join and connect with eachother, depending on their interests. Whether they’re into news, sports, TV shows, animals, technology, or any of countless other topics, redditors can engage in authentic conversation about these interests by posting, voting, and commenting within their communities. To deepen the conversation and increase user engagement, Reddit offers a real-time chat experience with Reddit chat. Reflecting other messaging solutions that users are already in the habit of using everyday, Reddit chat was launched to complement Reddit’s already-popular community posting and commenting format.
A need for chat functionality
Reddit is a community-centric network by its very nature. So the “frontpage of the internet” company was looking for chat functionality that could strengthen its communities—specifically, by connecting its users in real time. While they’re following international headlines, watching TV shows, or following the latest gaming news, they could talk about what’s going on with however many other users they wanted. And it would feature a modern look and feel that its then-outdated private messaging system wasn’t.
To pursue the experience, Reddit opted to use a chat API vs. build it in-house. “We were seeking the fastest way to test our ideas,” said Reddit Lead Product Manager Jason Lee. “Knowing how important it was to get the user experience right for large, community-based chat rooms, we wanted to use our time to focus on that, rather than on building the nuts and bolts of the chat messaging technology itself.”
To achieve these objectives, the team chose Sendbird to provide their backend chat API.
"...we wanted to use our time to focus on getting the experience right, rather than on building the nuts and bolts of the chat messaging technology itself."
Lead Product Manager at Reddit
A more-human digitized solution
Reddit partnered with Sendbird to roll out the intuitive real-time messaging solution. Powering millions of concurrent connections for Reddit users across the globe, the solution enables basic chat and modern messenger experiences with various features—for general groups of up to 1,000 members, in-community Subreddit groups, and private spaces.
Creating a safe environment for hundreds of millions of users
Whether it’s in a community of two or 2 million, engagement happens and connections develop when everyone feels safe and comfortable. From spam to downright-hostile messages, unwanted activity from inactive moderation that doesn’t keep the conversation healthy can cause even the most successful communities to lose their vigor. This problem becomes all the more challenging at Reddit’s scale. Any third-party chat API needed to be absolutely world-class to fit Reddit’s needs.
Reddit chat connects people in a personal way that brings the platform to life, inspiring them to frequently return for rewarding discussion among acquaintances and friends. As they grow more and more familiar with each other, they feel like they belong with a sense of purpose. “Whether they’re talking about serious things or the latest distraction,” comments Reddit Senior Engineering Manager Prashant Singh, “it seems like it’s helping people find greater connectedness.”