The Reddit Awards Program Is Back

reddit logo next to cash awards
Reddit Awards Tartila/Adobe Stock Alex/Adobe Stock tovovan/Shutterstock

Reddit has always been on the outskirts of the creator economy. But now, by reintroducing its awards system, the platform has reignited its own version of creator recognition and monetization. Kind of.

On Wednesday, May 15, the platform announced that its awards system was back after originally sunsetting the feature last year — to many users’ dismay.

“Let’s start with the obvious,” Reddit said in a post. “We tried something new, it wasn’t great (you called it). And now – it’s time for us to do something about it. So we’re (re)launching awards, not-so-new but definitely improved.

What is the use of Reddit Awards?

You can give Reddit awards (which are essentially little emojis and badges that appear next to a post) to another user’s post or comment by spending gold, the platform’s virtual currency.

If a user gets a reward, they don’t just get a nifty little badge. They get a certain amount of Karma too, which is a valuable resource for Redditors.

If a creator is eligible for the “Contributor Program,” aka the platform’s monetization program, they can trade in the karma they earn through these awards for real-life cash. In its announcement post, Reddit also said that it is expanding the Contributor Program to 35 new countries.

How do users purchase Reddit Awards?

Up until last year, users could purchase coins with real money, but this feature went away along with rewards after the platform introduced the much-hated “Golden Upvotes,” which were also directly purchasable with money. 

“While the golden upvote was certainly simpler in theory, in practice, it missed the mark,” Reddit added. It wasn’t as fun or expressive as legacy awards, and it was unclear how it benefited the recipient.”

For all intents and purposes, the ‘rewards’ system will work the same way as it did before — except rather than purchasing coins to buy awards, users will have to buy gold. 

Other changes include that awards will not be eligible in NSFW, trauma and addiction support, or “mature” subreddits. Reddit is also upgrading the awards program with a new design for awards, a new award button underneath eligible posts, and an awards leaderboard showing the top awards earned for a post or comment. 

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