In a move that has left the Reddit community buzzing, the platform is bidding adieu to its innovative Community Points program. Launched in 2020, Community Points aimed to empower Redditors, offering them a stake in their respective communities. These digital 'internet points,' residing on the Ethereum blockchain, were awarded to users engaging positively in select subreddits, igniting better content and conversations.
Once acquired, these points were irrevocably yours; neither Reddit nor moderators could snatch them away. They could be redeemed for exclusive perks, including memberships with unique badges and animated emojis. A key feature was their 'burning' mechanism, making every spend a meaningful decision.
These Community Points doubled as a badge of honor, displayed next to usernames in participating subreddits, celebrating the community's top contributors. What made them truly special was their blockchain origin, enabling users to flaunt their reputation anywhere online and even embed them in other websites or apps. Even if a user faced a Reddit ban, their points remained securely on the blockchain, although access to their Vault was lost, rendering the points dormant.
However, scaling this groundbreaking program posed formidable challenges for Reddit. Initially launched on the Ethereum network, it encountered high transaction fees and limited bandwidth, making it impractical for mass adoption. In 2022, Reddit migrated to Arbitrum Nova, an Ethereum-based layer, but this too fell short of Reddit's scaling requirements.
Reddit has since unveiled various community incentives, such as the moderator rewards program and the Contributor Program, offering tangible cash rewards to eligible users. Under the Contributor Program, users with over 5,000 karma can convert their Reddit gold and karma into cash.
According to Tim Rathschmidt, Reddit's director of consumer and product communications, the decision to phase out Community Points is rooted in the pursuit of more scalable and user-friendly programs. Reddit's ongoing commitment to improving community governance and empowering contributors is set to bring forth innovative alternatives.
The move comes after Reddit shelved its coin system earlier this year, which allowed users to purchase and award coins to others. The decision followed widespread protests against Reddit's API changes, culminating in a 48-hour blackout of over 8,000 subreddits. The company's pivot toward the Contributor Program isn't just about replacing Community Points, but rather prioritizing scalable solutions to benefit a broader user base.
As Reddit evolves, it's clear that the platform is determined to keep the spirit of rewarding and empowering its users alive, even if it means saying farewell to beloved initiatives like Community Points. The future of Reddit rewards promises to be exciting and accessible, with innovative programs in the pipeline. Stay tuned for more exciting developments!