Upload .mp4 and .mov files directly from your phone or computer.
Reddit announced a big, and likely welcome, change coming to its site: native video uploads. After testing the feature out in about 200 communities, native video hosting will now roll out for all Reddit communities, giving every user the ability to upload and share videos on Reddit without the use of a third-party service. Until now, users had to upload videos to another site and then post the video’s link to Reddit in order to share.
Native video uploading is supported on both the desktop and mobile versions of Reddit. Users can upload pre-recorded videos from their devices; on the Reddit mobile app, you can shoot videos to upload immediately by giving the app access to your camera. Videos must be either MP4 of MOV files, and they can be no longer than 15 minutes. You can even make gifs out of your videos by using Reddit’s new MP4 converter, and videos uploaded through the mobile app can be trimmed to show only the most important part. Since Reddit’s core is its communities, the company made it so you could watch videos and read posted comments at the same time. On desktop, the video player will shrink and stay at the top of the page so you can scroll through comments. On mobile, the video player remains at the top of the page while the bottom-half is scrollable.
Reddit’s blog post cites user experience as one of the main reasons for its new native video hosting. It was previously a hassle for users to post a video to Reddit, and the viewing experience wasn’t seamless. Reddit gave the same treatment to images last year when it cut ties with its longtime partner Imgur in favor of native image hosting. Not only does native image and video hosting make it easier for users to upload and share content to their favorite subreddits, but it also cuts the amount of time users spend on third-party sites.
What do companies want when users spend more time on their site? Advertisements. According to a Variety report, Reddit has already been experimenting with different types of video advertising, but new native videos posted to the site won’t have any ads on them for now. Reddit’s video product manager, Emon Motamedi, said the company wouldn’t rule out pre-roll or other types of video advertising going forward.
Reddit’s native video hosting comes just after Facebook announced Watch, its new video platform for original video content. Reddit is a very different kind of social network from Facebook, or even YouTube, but that could work in its favor if the company starts selling ads on its videos. Reddit is entirely based on community rather than individual users (like YouTube is), and those subreddits are clear categories for advertisers to target. Reddit also found that users participating in the native video beta test used video to extend conversations rather than build “individual brands.”
“We found that the most engaging types of video weren’t coming from popular users trying to establish their individual brands, as you might see on other platforms,” Reddit’s blog post detailed. “Instead, our video adopters so far have been creating and sharing videos to engage within their specific Reddit communities, as an organic extension of conversations already happening on each subreddit.”