Reddit has unexpectedly removed all users' chat history prior to January 1st, 2023, surprising its community. The move is associated with feature updates to the site's chats. However, the notice provided to users about the data removal was vague and placed at the end of the changelog update from June.
The users who did read the note and made it to the bottom were left to interpret that any chats prior to 2023 would be removed. Some users reported no warning at all. One user lamented the loss of three years' worth of conversation with a friend on the platform.
An admin responded to these concerns, explaining that only 2023 data is being migrated to the new chat platform. However, they suggested that a data export might help users recover their older chats. The efficacy of this data export feature has been mixed, with some users reporting missing chats in the exported files. Additionally, data export requests can only be made once every 30 days, so it may be advisable to wait for further clarity from Reddit before attempting a request.
This update was overshadowed by more high-profile changes on Reddit, which led to significant pushback from the site's user community. We reached out to Reddit for comments but received no response as of the time of publishing.