“It’s clear that our missions closely align and that our community-focused platforms can coexist and grow as we learn from each other.” — Steve Huffman, CEO, Reddit
2020 has seen a surge in the ever-expanding category of video offerings, particularly short-form, geared toward younger audiences. The latest to make a place in the space? Reddit.
The platform recently revealed its acquisition of short video platform Dubsmash. While the app will retain its own platform and brand, Reddit will integrate its video creation tools to help boost the creative opportunities available to creators and brands.
“Video is increasingly core to how people want to connect, and as we continue to grow our community, we’re committed to providing the best possible tools users need to find, create, and interact with one another through video,” Reddit shared in the official announcement.
The path towards video
Since launching native videos in 2017, Reddit reports usage has increased sharply, growing 2X in 2020 alone resulting in millions of organic video uploads. Separately, a spokesperson for Reddit shared with sources at Social Media Today that A Reddit spokesperson told SMT that, RPAN’s first year, over 291,000 streams were shared on the platform, by more than 54,000 streamers.
While initially these streams were capped at 45 minutes, there’s now a way to extend the length, which could open the window for creators to monetize their videos and tap into Dubsmash’s 52 million daily active users.
For some background, Dubsmash stands as one of TikTok’s biggest rivals that gained initial traction in 2015 as a lip-sync video app. In 2017, it broadened its appeal by incorporating more features that would earn it the title of social platform and moved its headquarters from Berlin to Brooklyn. Fast forward to this year, it had over one billion downloads and was second in the short-form video market.
Elevating underrepresented voices
Consumers prefer realistic portrayals of life versus displays of escapism, therefore it’s more important than ever to listen to their conversations rather than predict what they want or value.
In this vein, platforms must adapt as brands now take a stance on political and social issues far more than in previous decades, not only offering a branch of support but also acting as advocates for the consumers they represent and the issues they face.
Per the announcement, Dubsmash as a “welcoming platform for creators and users who are under-represented in social media.” Roughly 25 percent of all Black teens in the U.S and females represent 70 percent of Dubsmash users. This seems to align nicely with Reddit’s mission of fostering a sense of community and belonging via thousands of topics and passion points.
“In our years of building Dubsmash, we’ve learned how video can spark creativity, unlock interactions, and deepen connections within communities,” added Dubsmash’s co-founder and president, Suchit Dash. “Our focus is showing a different side of the internet.”
The transition to video — it’s only beginning
“The transition to video will be bigger than the transition to mobile,” explained Reddit Chief Executive and co-founder Steve Huffman in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. “We’re still only at the beginning.”
Video streaming apps specifically saw a 40 percent YoY spike with games, (35%), financing and shopping apps (25%), and social and communications apps (20%) following closely behind. Overall, it’s safe to say mobile adoption was accelerated by the global pandemic in ways that simply cannot and will not be reversed. App Annie predicts we’re ahead by roughly 2 to 3 years.
As we look ahead, predictions show that video will account for 78 percent of mobile traffic by 2021, up from 60 percent today. TikTok may be the king for now, but that won’t stop others from making their mark.
In an era of empowered consumers, video will continue to a core format central to how we find, share, and relate to content. Experiences should be the primary focus for brands — and these have to be easy-to-navigate, immensely creative, and match the space and flow of communication. Video is one of these focus areas worth integrating into your content strategy.