Reddit launched a beta version of a chat room service to select subreddits in April 2018. After years of testing that feature, the service announced today the rollout of small group chat rooms for communities.
The new feature, called "Start Chatting", allows you to search for people in a specific subreddit who want to chat about a topic of common interest. It works by matching you with other members of that subreddit in a small group chat after you tap the "Start Chatting" button. Of course, it won't match you to people you've blocked on the platform. It's worth noting that Reddit already has a chat feature both for individual and group conversations. What makes this new tool different is that it randomly generates a chat room with only a few members and focuses on a particular theme. On the other hand, the platform's existing chat service caters to a much larger group.
Reddit says it's launching the small chat room to help people stuck at home find other people to talk to. The company noted that more people have been increasingly turning to chat over the past month due to shelter-in-place orders meant to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The feature is in its early stage of release, available from today on the Reddit mobile app and the new Reddit website. It will also be rolled out to more communities in the coming weeks.