Reddit has announced significant updates to its Gold system and introduced a new Contributor Program. Redditors will now have the opportunity to earn real money through their contributions, marking a shift in how user engagement is valued and rewarded on the social media site.
Monetizing Contributions and Karma
The newly introduced Contributor Program allows eligible Redditors to convert their Reddit Gold and karma into fiat currency, which is disbursed monthly. The program is initially available to users in the United States who are over 18 and can verify their identity. Participants can earn money based on the amount of karma and Gold they receive, with the earning rate increasing as users accumulate more karma.
This initiative mirrors recent trends in social media, with platforms like Twitter (now called X) launching similar creator monetization programs. However, such programs have raised concerns about incentivizing spammy posting or “engagement bait.”
Simplifying the Gold System
Alongside the Contributor Program, Reddit has also revamped its Gold system to simplify the process of awarding content. Users can now purchase and award Gold by long-pressing the upvote icon or hovering over it on desktop. Gold prices start at $1.99, with Reddit retaining around 50% of the payment. The updated Gold system and the Contributor Program are part of Reddit's efforts to enhance user experience and engagement, despite facing challenges such as controversial API changes that affected third-party apps.
Eligibility and Compliance
Participation in the Contributor Program requires users to meet specific eligibility criteria and adhere to Reddit's User Agreement and Content Policy. The platform will enforce strict actions against contributions that violate its rules and withhold earnings on non-compliant content. The introduction of these programs comes at a time when Reddit is navigating through tumultuous waters, with parts of its user base expressing hostility due to changes that impacted developers and third-party applications.
“Redditors who participate in the program can then earn real money for their eligible contributions,” states the official announcement, emphasizing the platform's commitment to rewarding quality content and contributions. The developments signify Reddit's ongoing efforts to adapt and innovate in the rapidly evolving social media landscape.
Challenges as Reddit Goes to War with Users
Earlier this year, Reddit faced criticism for its decision to increase the price of its APIs. The price increases were set to take effect on July 1, 2023. However, Reddit has now said that it will waive the fees for developers of accessibility apps. Thousands of subreddits committed to going dark on June 11 and 12 to protest the change. Reddit somewhat relented by giving free API access to accessibility apps, but not others.
Reddit has since removed its award program, which allowed users to purchase awards to give to other users. This was one of the clearest ways for Reddit to monetized, so it was surprising the company removed the feature. Mods from the r/AMA subreddits abandoned the platform, meaning no more Ask Me Anything threads from celebrities or influential people.