Reddit introduces a new developer portal to support and promote outside apps and bots
Any Reddit user knows that experiencing the bizarre and occasionally great content that the community creates is the best part of Reddit, and the company is also well aware of this.
Using a new toolset from the firm, Reddit is announced today that it will create a waitlist for developers who wish to create products for the site. In order to create a unique Reddit experience, the business intends to link the new toolset with a directory of third-party software extensions that moderators and Redditors can both explore through.
The new portal will provide developers with tools and other resources to enable them to create software extensions to improve the current experience on the social network. On the platform, there are already a tonne of popular third-party developer tools that sit quietly in the background of subreddits and emerge to automatically copy and paste tweet content, translate a post into another language, or urge users to receive timed reminders.
Reddit Chief Product Officer Pali Bhat told TechCrunch, “As we enable greater UI customization, we expect Redditors and moderators to personalise their communities to reflect their particular requirements and preferences.”
Extensions can offer more than just practical benefits that make using Reddit more convenient; they can also be very important. Some bots already improve accessibility for users who are blind or visually impaired and provide moderators with a more complete range of tools for maintaining safe communities and enforcing the rules. Others are less humorous, like Reddit’s rogue spellcheck bots that ping users for misspelt words, or more quirky, like the iconic Yoda bots that invert comments into Yoda-like grammar.
Anyone who wants to get access to the new toolkit, which includes a studio for building and testing automated desktop tools, can sign up for the beta of Reddit’s developer platform, which will open the waitlist for it today. The company intends to keep the developer portal beta’s size modest at first and learn from its observations while keeping safety in mind. Everyone will be able to access the new gateway for customised Reddit software sometime in 2019.
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According to Bhat, “We’re going to work on a lot of experiments, mostly in the areas of “apps” and “automation tools,” where apps can directly connect with Reddit’s user interface and automation tools are more similar to typical bots. ” … This will start out modestly, but as time goes on, we aim to provide developers a lot of latitude and flexibility.
Reddit hopes to assist developers in leaving the current silos they are trapped in by providing the developer portal. According to the business, developers manage to get by with “minimal resources and ad-hoc assistance” while building custom solutions for the communities they are familiar with. Reddit hopes to give them more tools to build with with the new developer platform beta, as well as a central location to share resources and gather what they come up with.
Reddit is also aware that, depending on their own conventions, several groups desire flexible and individual methods of communication. More third-party developer support will make it simpler for users and moderators to personalise their experiences on the primarily text-based social network.
According to Bhat, “our objective is to have a portal where users and moderators can select the technologies they wish to employ for their communities that would enhance users’ experiences easier and more meaningful.”
Reddit is investing in automation in addition to pushing its community to create more bots. The business revealed its plans to purchase Spell in June, a platform for performing machine learning experiments that would otherwise be prohibitively resource-intensive. The next month, Reddit declared intentions to purchase MeaningCloud, a provider of natural language processing. These acquisitions will integrate with Reddit’s current systems, such as discovery, advertising, and safety, as well as tailored recommendations.