Reddit, one of the most popular messageboard-style websites in the world, is joining the industry-wide pivot to video. On 17 August, it announced an extended rollout of its "video beta" system, smoothing out how users are able to "capture, upload, and share videos and gifs" on the platform.
"Reddit is home to more than 100,000 of the internet's most passionate and engaged communities, and we want to give all of them the best tools to express themselves and engage in deeper conversations. This launch is a giant step forward," a blog post read.
Users will be able to record video clips within the official Reddit application – which can also be used to edit – or upload files directly from a desktop computer.
Video types allowed are .mp4 and .mov, with a maximum of 15 minutes run-time. As with YouTube, Redditors can comment on videos while watching.
The changes are designed to ensure that content creators no longer have to go through a "time-consuming" process to post video.
"This inhibited many users," the firm said, adding: "Especially those who capture videos on their phones".
The blog continued: "With native video, we've streamlined this process dramatically, allowing both content creators and commenters to focus on the conversation taking place."
Reddit said the native video was intentionally rolled out slowly in order to gain feedback from communities – or "subreddits". The beta testing showed that the most engaging videos were not from popular users pushing a brand. Instead, it was from those pushing conversation.
The website is known for its comment sections, which are often embroiled in heated debates and arguments. Some – like r/TheDonald – have spilled over into the mainstream on occasion. There is a subreddit for nearly every imaginable topic, from cute animals to Satanic worship.
"Because our video platform keeps a small preview window open at the top of the screen as you browse the comments below, you can transition seamlessly between viewing, lurking, and commenting on Reddit videos," the blog post continued.
"It's already proving its value to our communities, content creators, publishing partners, and brands, who are eager to start using native video to engage in conversation with Reddit communities in new. We will continue to evolve Reddit video as we collect [...] feedback".
The move comes as many mainstream media brands – including Vice, Vocativ and Mic – increasingly turn towards video content to help solve mounting advertising woes. Dubbed the 'pivot to video', the transformation has already left many out-of-work journalists and writers in its wake.