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Reddit built chatrooms for all your favorite subreddits – here’s how it works

Hopefully, these will fare better than the company’s previous attempt.

reddit banner kt
Image: KnowTechie

Update (5/1/2020): Reddit has now rolled back the chatroom feature after a show-stopping bug appeared. As Alex Le, Reddit’s vice president tells The Verge, “If you dismiss the banner in 3 communities where the feature is active on desktop web or Android, then the small button you’re seeing appears on all communities. But importantly, for all support communities, the button does nothing.”

Oh, and volunteer moderators for subreddits didn’t like that they got the feature without being consulted, so when Reddit adds it back, there will be a way for moderators to remove it from their communities? Who’d have thought that adding chat rooms that weren’t moderated by the community was a bad idea…

The original article can be found below.


Reddit is reintroducing IRC chat to the world, with a new feature called Start Chatting that’s rolling out to safe-for-work (SFW) subreddits. Using it matches you up into small breakout rooms with like-minded individuals, so you can shoot the shit or meme to your heart’s content about your favorite topics.

At the moment, it’s only available to some SFW popular subreddits. Reddit aims to roll it out to roughly 16,000 subreddits this week. Chatrooms will be moderated by Reddit staff, so don’t put anything into them that you wouldn’t otherwise post publicly, k?

It’s a nice touch to bring some synchronous communication to a platform that often seems like it’s just a softer version of 4chan. I mean, it’s aimed at actually fostering connections with your fellow Redditors, allowing you to chat in a way that you wouldn’t do normally. Especially if you don’t read DMs, cause those are often used to hurl abuse so the admins don’t see it.

Here’s how to use Reddit’s new chatrooms

  1. Go to your favorite subreddit that has the Start Chatting feature enabled. Here you can see one of my favs, r/MechMarket

    reddit's new chat feature

    Image: Reddit

  2. Click on Start Chatting and you’ll get placed into a chatroom with up to seven other users from the subreddit (presumably these are people who also pressed the button and not just randomly pressganged into talking to you)

    Image: KnowTechie

  3. The gear icon lets you see all the names of the people in your group chat, rename the chat if you want, or turn off notifications. Hitting the Pop-out icon puts the chat into a new tab, so you get more screen space to read and chat

Reddit played around with community-wide chat rooms in 2018 but they weren’t particularly well-received. Maybe this smaller, fireside chat format will work better and help us all make some new friends in this age of social distancing.

What do you think? Plan on using these new chatrooms on Reddit? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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