With more than 130,000 discussion groups and over 50 million daily users worldwide, Reddit is one of the biggest online communities. Launched in 2005, Reddit is known for democratizing the power dynamics allowing its super-participants to create rules and define norms for their micro-communities or subreddits.
However, things don’t stop here, as Reddit is once again revolutionizing the online community democratization interaction processes. This time, the company’s management decided to facilitate and build new community dynamics using blockchain technology.
In June 2021, Reddit silently launched its first Collective Avatar Collection. Reddit’s CryptoSnoos can be accessed by visiting the NFT section of Reddit’s Avatar Builder.
It’s worth noting that Reddit launched an Avatar Shop long ago, allowing its users to customize their avatars by choosing their clothes, hats, accessories, and more.
As the company indicates:
“When available, people can purchase Collectible Avatars where they normally build avatars on Reddit, using local currencies, such as dollars in the U.S. As soon as someone completes a purchase, they’ll be able to use their avatar on Reddit.”
People can use their Vault, a blockchain-powered wallet on Reddit, to store and manage their avatars. They can transfer their NFT from the Vault to their MetaMask wallet if they want.
CryptoSnoos started as an experiment, highlighting Reddit’s interest in NFTs. Soon, the company launched different collections of blockchain-based avatars, such as Aww Friends, Drip Squad, Meme Team, and The Singularity.
Next, Reddit partnered up with well-known community artists active in different subreddit groups. Soon, the company launched individual collections under different artists’ names, representing unique designs of Reddit’s logos.
As the company notes:
“Many of the artists we worked with for this first series came from popular creative communities like r/Comics. Some have cultivated the skills they utilized for this program in subreddits like r/ProCreate or r/AdobeIllustrator. We also worked with artists from our networks who are bringing their work to Reddit for the first time.”
The project had as its primary goal to empower artists to create and sell their work. According to Reddit, artists get paid for every Collectible Avatar. Also, they’re entitled to receive royalties from secondary sales.
But that’s not what’s truly fascinating about Reddit’s use of blockchain technology. In August 2022, Reddit rolled out Community Points.
Community Points is a Beta project encompassing multiple user benefits, such as:
Reddit’s community members can use points to measure reputation, purchase special memberships, buy Reddit Coins that only work in the subreddit, tip someone with a point for writing a great post, and more. According to Reddit:
“Community Points can also be sent to any Redditor with a crypto Vault.”
Community points are great for incentivizing and engaging the community, creating a meaningful context for contributing with great content and thoughtful engagement. Moreover, its goal is to move the focus from NFTs to their real social value, which includes the desire to be part of a community, contribute to it, and stand out from the rest (for example, via reputation).
“Community Points are the first step toward a better future for online communities. In order to be truly independent from platforms like Reddit, communities need to be owned by their members in ways that platforms cannot take away. With the advent of blockchain technology, we now have a way to establish this freedom in a decentralized and secure way.”
In other words, blockchain-based Community Points will gradually transform into a powerful democratization tool allowing Reddit’s users to control the platform and keep it valuable for all members.