Reddit CPO talks new features — better translations, moderation and dev tools

It’s a big year for Reddit. After its IPO, the platform is planning a slew of product features for the year ahead, and — spoiler alert — most of them are powered by AI.

“I think the IPO was an important milestone, but we’re just focused on building for our users,” Reddit chief product officer Pali Bhat told TechCrunch.

Reddit’s product roadmap includes faster loading times, more tools for moderators and developers, and an AI-powered language translation feature to bring Reddit to a more global audience.

“This is actually a really cool use of LLMs, where we can do translations in a more nuanced way than ever before,” Bhat said. “If you’re in, let’s say, France, you will be able to use Reddit in French, regardless of what most of the users of that subreddit might be.”

So, if a user posts in French, an English-speaking Redditor could read the post in English and respond — and the French speaker could see their response in their own language and respond in kind.

“For the longest time, Reddit was largely an English-only platform, and focused heavily on the United States, United Kingdom, and Mexico,” Bhat said. “We’re now expanding dramatically across the world, and we’ve already had a significant number of users coming in from the rest of the world.”

If you’re an investor in Reddit, that’s probably music to your ears. But Bhat has the data to back it up. According to Reddit’s IPO filing, in December 2023, 50% of Reddit’s daily active unique users were from non-U.S. countries.

AI is also at the heart of Reddit’s updates to the moderator experience. Reddit recently rolled out keyword highlighting features that make it easier for mods to find potentially violative content in their subreddits, along with tools to manage influxes of new members. The company will build on those updates with other new tools, like an LLM that’s trained on moderators’ past decisions and actions.

Reddit sparked mass user protests last year when it changed its API pricing structure, meaning that some popular third-party Reddit apps would be stuck with seven-figure bills if they continued to operate. This backlash has died down, but now Reddit is encouraging developers to build directly on Reddit, and without pay — but Bhat says this could change in the future.

You can find the products from the developer platform on r/WallStreetBets, where there’s a live dashboard of trending stocks, posters and commenters. And, as Bhat notes, one of the most popular Super Bowl scoreboards actually came from r/TaylorSwift — go figure.

“The coolest thing is that it’s unlocking experiences that we ourselves wouldn’t have imagined,” he said. “And that’s just awesome, and it’s all built on top of our API.”

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