The 'front page of the internet' might have a new front page
The “front page of the internet” is considering overhauling its homepage and changing the content new users are shown by default.
“This year will see a lot of changes on Reddit,” Huffman wrote on Reddit on Thursday. “Recently we built an A/B testing system, which allows us to test changes to individual features scientifically, and we are excited to put it through its paces. Some changes will be big, others small and, inevitably, not everything will work, but all our efforts are towards making Reddit better.”
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In the post, Huffman did not give many specifics. However, the Reddit CEO became much more candid in his responses to commenters. Redditor AH_starwars asked: “Are you looking at changing up the default subreddits at all, or no?”
Huffman responded: “Yes. We’ve got our sights on the front page algorithm in general. It can be vastly improved. I’m not a fan of defaults. It puts too much of a burden on us to be tastemakers and makes it difficult for great new communities to break through.”
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Default subreddits make up the content a new Reddit user is shown automatically when they first use the site. Though Reddit users can unsubscribe from defaults and sign up to other subreddits, the default subreddits are in a privileged position.
Another user expressed concern that Reddit might be planning to monetize users’ posts through book publishing deals, or via other ad-funded websites.
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Huffman responded that Reddit’s only publishing venture is the “Ask Me Anything” book. He explained that proceeds from this will go to charity.
He joked: “But if you think our best revenue idea is making a book, I’m a little insulted. I mean, I know we have a lot to improve on, but we’d at least sell your personal data to advertisers before getting into publishing for profit.”
But in his original post, Huffman addressed privacy concerns more seriously, announcing that there will be a Reddit data transparency report.
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“We receive many requests from law enforcement and governments. We take our stewardship of your data seriously, and we know transparency is important to you, which is why we are putting together a Transparency Report,” he said.