Reddit is about to open up the floodgates on chat: The self-proclaimed front page of the internet recently announced that moderators can now create chat rooms for each and every subreddit community on its site.
Currently, these chat rooms are still just available to about 30% of Reddit’s users. A Reddit spokesperson told Variety Friday that Reddit’s entire audience should get access to chat in the coming weeks as the company slowly ramps up the rollout of the feature.
Users who can’t wait for this rollout can already opt in by clicking to the link to a chat room. Some moderators have started to feature their chat rooms in the Subchats subreddit, which was created by the site’s community to help with the discovery of chat rooms. Once a user opted in to the chat feature, they can also discover a subreddit’s chat room in its sidebar.
Reddit rolled out person-to-person and group chat a couple of months ago, and began testing community chatrooms with a select number of subreddits in May.
Since then, the company has added a number of new features to its chat rooms, with a special focus on moderation. For instance, earlier this month, Reddit gave moderators the ability to delete all of the chat messages of a particular user, as well as ban users from a chat room without also kicking them out of a subreddit.
Reddit users chatting with each other about Reddit chat.
So why is Reddit introducing chat rooms? The answer can be summed up in one word: Discord. The chat app for gamers has become increasingly popular on Reddit, with many subreddits running their own Discord chat rooms.
Reddit told users in a FAQ that moderators can keep using third-party chat services, or decide not to enable chat for their community at all.
However, the company also acknowledged that apps like Discord prompted the development of Reddit Chat, writing: “Many communities use other chat tools outside of Reddit today, this one will give mods a simple method for creating rooms already integrated with their subreddits.”