Reddit launches its own video hosting platform

Image source, Reddit
Image caption, Users in some pre-approved Reddit communities can now upload videos directly to the website

News and community website Reddit has launched a new video player that allows users to directly upload videos.

The player has so far been tested in more than 200 of the site's community groups, known as subreddits.

With 48 million annual visitors, Reddit is the eighth most visited website in the world, according to statistics from Amazon-owned Alexa.

Posters have been able to share images and gifs, as well as text and links, since 2016.

"Prior to this launch, content creators had to go through a time-consuming, circuitous process to post videos, using third-party hosting platforms, copying URLs, and sharing them as link posts," said the firm in a blog.

"This inhibited many users, especially those who capture videos on their phones and want to share them quickly with their favourite subreddits."

The new system "streamlined" the process, it added.

In an interview with tech news website The Verge, Reddit product manager Emon Motamedi said it also kept people on the platform, rather than clicking links to videos posted on other sites and then coming back to comment.

Ad revenue

The potential for ad revenue if Reddit starts incorporating ads around user content is significant, Lauren Foye, senior analyst at Juniper Research, told the BBC.

"By hosting their own content, they can start adding ads on top of it and monetising the content," she added.

However, the site has yet to confirm specifically that this is what it will do.

"Video is classed as a more premium content type," added Charlotte Palfrey, senior analyst with Ovum.

"They can charge more for advertising alongside it because it's more engaging. I would anticipate that we'll see a launch of pre-roll and mid-roll adverts in the future to fully exploit this new content."

Early Reddit video posts include a golfer seeking tips on his swing, a man asking for advice on his next haircut, and cute videos of pets.

Policing issues

However, enabling video uploads may mean the platform will have to deal with the same policing problems faced by other social networks including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

"It is going to be a headache for moderators, but moderators can opt out of having video on their boards," said Charlotte Palfrey.

"Moderators will have to be careful to avoid copyright infringement and content not suitable for a family audience."

The feature will only be available in certain communities and will not be rolled out across the entire site, the firm said.

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