Reddit’s Reportedly Cooking Up Its Own Clubhouse-Like Voice Chat Feature

Illustration for article titled Reddit's Reportedly Cooking Up Its Own Clubhouse-Like Voice Chat Feature

Photo: Olivier Douliery (Getty Images)

Rumor has it the front page of the internet may be the latest online platform cooking up a social audio feature a la the voice-only chat app Clubhouse.

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Reddit is quietly working on incorporating moderator-run voice chats onto the platform, a person familiar with the matter said in a Friday Mashable report. In an interview with the outlet, the source described the feature’s development as confidential and still in its early stages.

If this voice chat feature ever does see the light of day, odds are it’ll roll out under Reddit’s “power-ups” banner, an initiative the company launched last year to experiment with new subscription-based features specific to individual subreddits.

In its initial announcement, Reddit listed several examples of these features, called power-ups, such as the “ability to upload and stream up to HD quality video,” “video file limits doubled,” and “inline GIFs in comments,” among others. Subreddits can unlock these perks after enough of their members purchase monthly power-up subscriptions, with the minimum threshold for each community determined by its size.

At the time, Reddit made it crystal clear it wanted to hear from users for future suggestions.

“The new experiment helps create a framework that allows us to add ‘nice to have’ features for subreddits,” Reddit said in its announcement in August. “We are starting with a few handpicked features and expect to add more as we get input from you and the communities that have opted into our early testing.”

Given all the buzz about social audio services these days, I suspect “voice chat” scored pretty high on the list of suggestions. Though I can understand why Reddit may want to keep things under wraps for now given how royally it screwed up trying to introduce chat rooms last year. TLDR: Reddit pushed out the feature with little forewarning and seemingly zero thought about moderation, as subreddit mods couldn’t opt-out of chats or control them. It was a disaster. 

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Reddit did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment, but we’ll be sure to update this blog when they do.

Time will tell if this audio chat craze is a flash in the pan, but what is clear is that the landscape is quickly becoming crowded. Clubhouse has inspired several copycats since its launch in March 2020, with Twitter, LinkedIn, Slack, and TikTok’s parent company, Bytedance, all reportedly rushing to get in on the action with their own audio chat features. Facebook also began beta testing for its Clubhouse clone, a web-based Q&A platform that it’s calling Hotline, this week.

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Amateur Investors Flood The Wrong AMC Subreddit In Search For ‘Stonks’

Illustration for article titled Amateur Investors Flood The Wrong AMC Subreddit In Search For Stonks

Image: AMC

I don’t really get how the stock market works. It all seems like a big scam to me.

It seems an even bigger scam after what will surely be known as the infamous “Stonks” debacle of 2021, when redditors from the /r/WallStreetBets subreddit pushed the humble $20 stock price of the game retailer GameStop up 822 percent just for fun. And now some poor, long-suffering classic car enthusiasts are caught in the middle.

First, the skinny on what’s going on over at /r/WallStreeBets gaming of the GameStop stock explained by someone smarter than I am. From CNET:

Despite the move being characterized as “insane” and a “Ponzi scheme,” GameStop is now one of the biggest bets Wall Street traders have made lately, with nearly all of them expecting it to fail. It all started last week, when posters on the Reddit stock trading chat community WallStreetBets attempted to push up shares in the struggling game retailer. With much of Wall Street betting against GameStop’s success, WallStreetBets investors believed they could force a market rally by creating demand where there had been little before.

The result: GameStop stock jumped more than 822%, from $17.25 at the beginning of the year to a high of $159.18 on Monday. Then it dropped by nearly half, only to rise back up to $147.98 on Tuesday. And then Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted about it (using that vocabulary we mentioned), and the price jumped 40% in after-hours trading. On Wednesday morning, it hit new highs, hovering around $315 per share.

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Elon Musk did indeed tweet about it, which is always a good sign:

Well, it turns out /r/WallStreetBets isn’t the only subreddit to blow up with excited stock traders’ posts. The humble /r/amc Reddit board was flooded today by investors looking for information on AMC Entertainment, only to find it was full of people not with a love for the entertainment business but with a passion for American Motors Corporation. From Road & Track:

today, the AMC subreddit was briefly overtaken by investors and amateur day-traders hoping to find and share info on AMC Entertainment Holdings, the largest movie theater chain in the world. We’re just has baffled as you.

In an effort to spread the word and spur conversation, traders, somewhat logically, found the “AMC” subreddit and barged on in, hoping to discuss stock-trading ideas and tactics. What they didn’t realize is that they’d found the wrong group of AMC fans.

“THIS IS A CAR SUBREDDIT, NOT A STOCK MARKET SUBREDDIT,” reads one post, written in frustration after several now-deleted off-topic posts on the movie theater chain cluttered up the once-quiet automotive community.

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The confusion was eventually cleared up, but the investor posts stayed up for longer than they usually would have because the moderator lives in Germany. Once again, I don’t know how any of this stuff works, but if we could get AMC going again, it seems like a worthy cause. Come on Reddit. Do your thing.

This Genius Bot Turns Reddit Drama Into Face-Offs From Ace Attorney

Drama is no stranger to Reddit, as many of you all might know. And while more than a few have snickered or giggled at Reddit arguments that have exploded or taken strange twists and turns, there’s now a new way to check out what’s happening in the comments.

Micah Price, a software engineer from Cape Town, South Africa, on Sunday unveiled a genius bot that turns Reddit arguments into scenes from Ace Attorney, the Capcom series in which attorney Phoenix Wright fights to get his clients off the hook using his investigative and courtroom skills, Mashable reported. The video arguments come with the dramatic music and the famous “Objection!” catchphrase. The results are entertaining, hilarious, and honestly sometimes don’t make sense. There are, of course, some that do elicit an appalled, “Oh God,” when you see what people are arguing about.

In an interview with Mashable, Price said that he got the idea from other meme-based videos of the game on YouTube.

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“The dramatic music is great,” Price told the outlet, “especially for the melodramatic debates on Reddit.”

According to the video about the bot Price posted on YouTube, the bot checks for the most common users in the comment chain and then loops all of the comments in their chain. A neural network then proceeds to check whether the tone of the comment is negative or positive. If the comment is deemed negative, it’ll evoke an “Objection!” Meanwhile, a comment deemed positive would provoke a happy expression. The bot, which takes about 10 minutes to reply, will then make a video based on the comments and send it to the user in a link on Reddit.

You can see an example video from the bot below.

Now to the big question on everyone’s minds: Can you use it? The bot can be used by anyone on Reddit who types in “!objectionbot” or “!objection-bot” in the comments. There’s one catch though: The subreddit you post in has to be on the bot’s list of supported subreddits, which you can see here. If your preferred subreddit for arguing is not on the list, Price is taking suggestions on which ones he should add.

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The bot took about three days to make, Price said, adding that he used Python as well as computer vision and machine learning libraries in the development. It is open-source and can be found on GitHub. Shortly after its launch, the bot was “uber buggy,” he said. In fact, according to the bot’s user page, u/objection-bot, it broke for a couple of hours when Price went to sleep. He fixed it later on though, and the bot reports that it is, “back and running for now.”

You can check out the videos of the arguments—which include some about the Emoji Movie, the laws that would exist if Pokémon were real, and the developer of Cyberpunk 2077—the bot has made on its user page.

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