“Exclusive Interview with Reddit’s Chief Product Officer: Enhancing User Experience through Improved Translations, Enhanced Moderation, and Advanced Developer Tools”

After its IPO, the platform is planning a slew of product features for the year ahead, and — spoiler alert — most of them are powered by AI. “I think the IPO was an important milestone, but we’re just focused on building for our users,” Reddit Chief Product Officer Pali Baht told TechCrunch. Reddit’s product roadmap includes faster loading times, more tools for moderators and developers, and an AI-powered language translation feature to bring Reddit to a more global audience. According to Reddit’s IPO filing, in December 2023, 50% of Reddit’s daily active unique users were from non-U.S. countries. The company will build on those updates with other new tools, like an LLM that’s trained on moderators’ past decisions and actions.

It’s an exciting year for Reddit, with a recent IPO and big plans on the horizon. The platform’s Chief Product Officer, Pali Baht, sat down with TechCrunch to discuss what’s in store for Reddit in the coming year. And it seems like AI will be the driving force behind many of their new product features.

“I think the IPO was an important milestone, but we’re just focused on building for our users,” Baht explained.

So what exactly can Reddit users expect in the near future? The product roadmap includes faster loading times, more tools for moderators and developers, and an AI-powered language translation feature to cater to a global audience. Baht elaborated on the potential for Reddit’s AI technology:

  • “This is actually a really cool use of LLMs, where we can do translations in a more nuanced way than ever before.”
  • “If you’re in, let’s say, France, you will be able to use Reddit in French, regardless of what most of the users of that subreddit might be.”

This opens up the possibility for users to interact and communicate with each other, regardless of language barriers. For example, an English-speaking user can read and respond to a post in French, and the French speaker can see the reply in their own language and continue the conversation. As Baht puts it, “For the longest time, Reddit was largely an English-only platform…we’re now expanding dramatically across the world.”

And for investors, this global expansion is great news. It shows that Reddit has a strong user base outside of the US and UK, with data from their IPO filing revealing that 50% of daily active unique users are from non-US countries.

But AI isn’t just being used to break down language barriers. It’s also at the heart of updates to Reddit’s moderator experience. Baht mentions recent changes like keyword highlighting to help mods identify potentially problematic content, and tools to manage influxes of new members. And there’s more to come, including an LLM trained on moderators’ past decisions and actions.

Last year, Reddit faced backlash from users when it changed its API pricing structure, affecting popular third-party apps. While the dust has settled, Reddit is now shifting its focus to building directly on the platform. Baht clarified that this is currently free for developers, but it may not always be the case in the future.

And it seems like developers are already taking advantage of this opportunity. For example, Redditors can now find a live dashboard of trending stocks, posters, and commenters on r/WallStreetBets, as well as the popular Super Bowl scoreboard from r/TaylorSwift.

“The coolest thing is that it’s unlocking experiences that we ourselves wouldn’t have imagined,” Baht exclaimed. “And that’s just awesome, and it’s all built on top of our API.”

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Zara Khan

Zara Khan is a seasoned investigative journalist with a focus on social justice issues. She has won numerous awards for her groundbreaking reporting and has a reputation for fearlessly exposing wrongdoing.

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