Reddit Introduces a Feature Which Will Indicate When You Are Online with a Green Dot

Every app introduces something new every now and then, sometimes those new updates gain a positive response while there are certain times the update is not understandable by the public and the initial reaction is always negative. Something similar happened with Reddit.

Reddit, which a social media application that allows users to discuss and vote on content that other users have submitted recently brought a subtle change to its platform. Previously, Reddit users could not see who was online at what time on the application but the new change will let other users on the app know when a specific person is online and this has triggered some privacy conscious people on the app as they were very comfortable staying behind the curtains and casually scrolling through the app and participating when they feel like it.

The change was introduced on March 3rd and currently is not fully updated. Meaning that if you are Reddit user you will see a green dot on the side of your screen name as well on the screen name on your Reddit posts which will indicate that you are active but currently your active status will only be visible to you and not others. Similarly, others active status will not be visible to you for now.

According to Reddit, if everything goes according to what they have planned they will initially release this feature to 10 percent of Android users on their platform where only some users will be able to see each other’s green dots for the time being.

But why did Reddit suddenly decide to put such a feature out in the public?

Well, Reddit thinks that this “Online Presence Indicator” will be a means to increase user engagement and eventually encourage people to post and participate more on the platform. According to the company after this they are hopeful more real and solid discussions could be taken on the application as well as smaller communities will know how many people on their page are active users and how many are dead accounts. All this will increase user engagement, activity and discussions on the app.

When people got upset about Reddit disrupting their privacy with this feature, it was pointed out that other applications like Facebook and Instagram also show active users or when were they last active. However, both of these applications are different from Reddit. Facebook and Instagram show active status of people you have added or followed while Reddit is a public platform and anybody can see your active status which can lead to cyber harassment issues. People who generally are mean can just see your online status and send you private messages bullying you and that is why the initial negative reaction of people was pretty much valid.

However, Reddit said that before making this feature public, they have given their users a one week heads up and if you are not comfortable with your active status being displayed on the platform you can just switch it off by going into your profile, and toggling yourself as “hiding,” which turns the feature off.

Read next: Steve Huffman defends his popular social media platform and goes on claiming that Reddit has one of the best advices for investors out there
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