Infopost | 2023.06.28

Reddit snoo scientist experimenting petri dish

Someone familiar with the matter explained more of the rationale behind Reddit's de facto ban on third party apps.

AnonymousAnonymous Reddit's IPO price depends on more ads being seen by users. To maximize this, they run experiments on user accounts to determine the effectiveness of ads and quantify user engagement. Gathering these metrics requires introspection into specific user behaviors, something they don't get from third party apps.

Hundreds of experiments are being run on user test groups at any given time [Ed: Reddit's total headcount is a few thousand]. Loiter as you're scrolling? They are interested in what was on the screen. Screenshot something? Another datapoint. Copy a link and remove the guid? The copy is stored even if you trimmed the fat off the url.

This is all pretty standard in the social media bz, of course. With all of the attention user content gets in discussions of privacy and ownership, it's worth remembering that fine grain user interaction data is also a valuable commodity that users unwittingly produce.


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