Social site Reddit, which hosts some of the internet’s largest gaming communities, is now handing out a little bit of cash for good posting. As announced in a September 25 blog, Reddit has a new Contributor Program, and it’s made changes to “gold” upvotes, which it temporarily removed earlier this month.
The program will reward redditors for popular posts and shares, so long as they are eligible (over 18 years old, live in the U.S., have received at least 100 of Reddit’s reputation points and 10 gold in the last year, among other restrictions), similarly to Twitter’s ad revenue sharing mission. Reddit’s program requires you complete a verification process where you submit tax and other identifying information.
Those who successfully become contributors will be bound to the aforementioned yearly karma and gold minimums, which will determine their “Contributor Level.” You won’t be paid without hitting those minimums.
How will Reddit pay you to post? And how much?
If you check all of Reddit’s miniscule boxes, you’ll start getting paid 30 days after the end of the month you’ve reached your minimum in. So, “if you met the Minimum Contributor Level on October 18th,” Reddit writes in its announcement post, “Reddit will pay you within 30 days after October 31st.”
Now: you might think everything I’ve already explained sounds way too complicated, totally not worth enduring when posting in r/Starfield is already so exhilarating in itself. Well, buckle up. Things become even more elaborate when determining your Reddit check, or what the site calls your “pay rate.”
Your rate will be determined by your monthly karma (reputation points) balance, but it’s not impacted much by exceeding Reddit’s minimum threshold. If you’ve made the baseline “100 karma since September 25th,” Reddit writes in an explanatory article, “your October payout will be $9 (10 gold at $0.90).” Amassing over 5,000 karma since September 25th will give your October payout only a little nudge; it’ll be “$10 (10 gold at $1).” Yeah, $10. Thanks for the one-way Uber rate, kind stranger.
How will Reddit gold change?
On that note—Reddit gold is a super, purchasable upvote you gift other people. It’s like giving a TikTok livestreamer a rose sticker or buying Twitch bits. In the wake of Reddit’s creator program, gold will reappear to play that part, only with a different user interface.
“We’re simplifying the experience of awarding content that redditors like with a new gold system,” Reddit wrote in its Program announcement post. Either hold down the upvote icon on mobile or hover over it on desktop—“A suite of six gold awarding options will appear,” Reddit says, “starting at $1.99 for one gold, and up to $49.00 for 25 gold.” It will not be available “in NSFW, trauma support, or quarantined subreddits,” a Reddit admin posted.
Those subreddit restrictions add another interesting texture to Reddit’s program. Though safe-for-work posts reach a remarkable number of users (several tame r/BaldursGate3 posts made in the last 12 hours, for example, have over 1,000 upvotes), Reddit tends to operate under the same laws as other social media: create controversy to prosper.
Reddit’s new gold restrictions could be good, then. They discourage people from milking a support group for its money, or from joining restricted groups to exploit their reactiveness. But the restrictions could also stop eligible contributors from making worthwhile comments in certain subreddits where they wouldn’t be rewarded for it. It also presents NSFW users with the short end of the stick, as per usual.
This gold system is currently rolling out slowly to “Reddit native mobile apps.” But it, like the Contributor Program, some are saying, could engender “karma farming” spam posts.
It might saw down Reddit’s utility for many users, who share their thoughts with strangers because they want to, not to generate engagement and a couple of dollars.
Reddit’s Program seems like it could make a worse product and more desperation, right? But on our internet that’s smothered by perverse weight loss ads and intimidating headlines, I think this is just how we live.