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Reddit Took The Slow Road, Now Ready To Compete On Live Streaming

Reddit Live DG AH 2020
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Reddit is ready to take its Live Streaming service, dubbed Reddit Public Accesss Network (RPAN) to the next level, reports indicate.

That’s based on a recent The Verge interview with Reddit vice president of product and community Alex Le. The executive notes that the service is chugging along as planned. More directly, it’s pulling in streamers that don’t typically participate on other platforms. As a result, within the next couple of months, Reddit will be expanding the feature.

What is RPAN, anyway?

Now, the fact that Reddit even has a Live Streaming service may come as news to even long-term users. Up until this announcment, it’s been extremely limited in terms of which subreddits have accesss. That includess subreddits like r/whereintheworld, r/RedditInTheKitchen, and r/AnimalsOnReddit. Among others.

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At its core, RPAN functionss similarly to just about any other live-streaming service.

Centered on Redditors, it lets redditors effectively stream whatever they want as long as it doesn’t violate the rules of the subreddit. The broadcast goes out live to all of Reddit, appearing in users’ feeds if they happen to be subscribed to a participating subreddit. Or if they happen to have the aforementioned subreddit appearing in their feed as a recommendation.

But part of the appeal of Reddit’s app-centric live streaming platform, according to Mr. Le, is that it draws broadcasters who don’t follow traditional streaming norms. Rather than being over-the-top, Reddit streamers tend to be “just a lot of regular users.”

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RPAN is, additionally, a phone-forward feature. It eschews the need for big PC set-ups and higher-resolutions. Users can go that route, via integration with OBS via RPAN Studio. But that’s not required.

Finally, Reddit Live Streaming packs a 45-minute time limit that can only be extended by viewers, in true Reddit fashion.

Where is Reddit Live Streaming coming next?

Right now, it’s not immediately clear where Reddit’s live streaming RPAN feature will appear next. The feature doesn’t have quite the same viewer figures as competing platforms, ranging up into the thousands instead of the dozens-of-thousands. As noted above, it’s also limited to very specific subreddits. But the company does plan to bring it to “as many communities” as will accept the feature over the next few months.

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