This simple idea of virtual betting tournaments on community-specific questions has the potential to integrate more users into their communities and expand the way that Reddit users communicate.
Explaining Reddit Predictions
Reddit Predictions allows community moderators to set up polls that on which users can place a virtual bet. Moderators decide the correct answer and who wins. There can be multiple polls and tournaments in a community. Questions can be about anything of importance in the community, such as:
- who will win the Super Bowl;
- which party will control the US House in the next election; or,
- what are the odds that unicorns exist?
You might already have an introduction to Predictions, as some communities began using the feature as part of the pilot phase. During the initial piloting of the feature, over one million Reddit users could use the feature in their communities while providing data for Reddit to tinker with the program.
How You Can Use Reddit Predictions as a Moderator
Using Predictions is a great way for moderators to think about how best to engage the members of your community in terms of which questions can induce the most participation. Moderators have a large amount of autonomy in the way that the feature works. Prizes are arbitrary and carry no monetary value. You could choose to award a badge or just allow for bragging rights.
Using Reddit Predictions
As a user, you can place bets on polls within your communities utilizing the 1,000 virtual coins Reddit supplies for free. Users cannot exchange real money, so the betting does not carry any real-life stakes. Once you are out of coins, you cannot refill them, so choose wisely. Coins replenish with each new tournament, and any that you do not use do not roll over.
Improving Engagement and Communication on Reddit
The goal of the new Reddit Predictions feature is to provide a way for users, especially those with low participation levels, to engage with the platform. Not all Reddit users are comfortable engaging in conversation in Reddit communities. Instead, this feature allows users with less engagement to participate in low-effort ways. There is also little to no risk of backlash or conflict with other community members through this type of participation. This feature can also be a way to engage in community building, especially for new communities. Moderators can use Predictions to get users intrigued about a contentious issue or excited about an upcoming event. As people participate more in these low-level acts, moderators can work to convert those users into more engaged contributors. Every interaction with each tournament also generates an upvote so that more people can see it and start playing.
Predictions and the Future of Reddit
While Reddit says that it has no plans to monetize the new feature, it does bring up questions about the future utilization of this and similar features. Facebook’s similar app uses polling features as a way to both integrate more users and to make more money from ads. The betting feature primarily separates Reddit and Facebook. While Reddit may not monetize the feature or allow actual betting, there are other ways that Reddit could use Predictions. Questions remain about the inevitable influx of data and impacts from that increase of data, especially from users who otherwise participate on Reddit at low levels.
Reddit’s new way to post through Prediction is a great way to get more involved with your communities. By simply making your best guess, you could win fun virtual prizes. With entertaining ways to have your voice heard, this feature can be a great way to attract more users to your community. As a user, the feature is a fun way to fill your time and connect you with your Reddit community.