Forget YouTube, now Reddit forays into video platform

Reddit has decided to enter the video content space in a year after developing a native image hosting platform and bringing video ads.

Picture for representation
Reddit mascots are displayed at the company's headquarters in San Francisco. Reuters

Videos are becoming the next big thing in the social networking world. This has now been proven by Reddit, as the website --often called the front-page of the Internet -- is launching its native video platform 12 years after being existed as a text-dominated channel.

Reddit has decided to enter the video content space in a year after developing a native image hosting platform and bringing video ads. Furthermore, the San Francisco, Calif.-based company piloted the new platform with more than 200 of its community groups. It is set to roll out the feature across its mobile apps on iOS and Android platforms as well as on desktop simultaneously.

The major inspiration behind Reddit's video-focused development is apparently YouTube. The company doesn't want its users to rely on a third-party video hosting platforms to make discussions on its site. This is the prime reason the video platform came to its existence. Moreover, it helps the site -- which has over 542 million monthly users and 234 million unique visitors -- enhance user engagements within communities (read subreddits) that are more than 100,000 in number.

"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," the company wrote in an announcement. "With native video, we've streamlined this process dramatically, allowing both content creators and commenters to focus on the conversation taking place on Reddit. No third-party uploads, new tabs or back arrows necessary."

Different target, but a similar approach

Unlike Google's YouTube that has been a major source for media companies and professional content creators, Reddit is not initially looking for such audience. The company is, in fact, merely planning to offer its users a unique new format to express alongside providing interruption-free engagement. Nevertheless, Reddit videos will come with commenting support to let communities include commentary around live moments. There is also an option to upload video content directly from mobile devices -- a way to increase the amount of content in a short span of time.

Reddit might expand its interest for video content by adding ads to the playtime. This will give way enhance revenues in the future.

Major distinction

While YouTube allows you to upload hours of videos in any of the popular video formats, Reddit has restricted the video feature by supporting only MP4 and MOV file types with a total length of up to 15 minutes. This means that you can't upload any entire movie of your in-house production.

Another major difference between YouTube and Reddit videos is the option to create GIFs right from videos. This is present in the Reddit platform to let you highlight only a certain portion from your entire video. Notably, the GIF feature is presently limited to mobile devices.

Going forward, Reddit might need specialists to keep an eye on licensed content and copyright issues. There would also be a requirement of offering some editing features, apart from the basic GIF creator, such as filters and doodles to influence more users.

Competitors on success path

Reddit is not the only social media player who is stepping into the video domain. Facebook is also on the same track. The social networking giant recently announced its Watch platform to enable video uploads for large-scale publishers. Additionally, Twitter is enhancing the presence of video content on its platform and expanding live stream support through its Periscope.

All this shows that the web behemoths are set to take on YouTube. The website has more than 800 million monthly unique users who watch over one billion hours of content every single day. These figures are likely to be changed -- either positively or negatively -- with the arrival of new competitors.