The official Reddit app for Android now has an Anonymous Browsing mode
Reddit is often known as the front page of the internet, deriving its spontaneity and popularity from communities focused around varied topic segments. The system in place lets individuals post content, and then others can upvote or downvote the content depending on its fit around the topic segment and their viewpoint. These upvotes and downvotes decide how much attention the content further gets. The individual is thus at the center of Reddit’s functioning. Some users might not appreciate the fact that Reddit can personalize recommendations. To cater to this specific need, Reddit’s official app is introducing an Anonymous Browsing mode.
As the name implies, Anonymous Browsing allows users to browse content on the Reddit mobile app without associating activities like searches and viewed communities with the user’s Reddit account. The official announcement lays down that in Anonymous Browsing, Reddit will not:
- Save your browsing or search history to your Reddit account
- Use your Reddit activity to personalize your recommendations
- Use your Reddit activity to send you personalized notifications
Of course, when a user is browsing anonymously, they will not be able to post, vote, comment, or take other actions that would need an account. But switching between a logged-in profile and Anonymous Browsing is easy and painless, so one can always swap back over when there is a need for interaction. If the Anonymous Browsing session is inactive for 30 minutes, the session will end and the user will be switched back to the profile that was last active.
The announcement post has further detailed how this feature is different from simply logging out, and from the previous anonymous browsing mode (which was simply emulating logged-out behavior):
- When you start an Anonymous Browsing session, the session is assigned a new set of unique IDs, so that there’s no connection between that session and your Reddit account. It’s like you’re creating a new account with a new set of IDs every time you start an Anonymous Browsing session.
- Because of the unique IDs, Reddit’s personalization engine resets every time you enter and exit the mode (to the engine, during an Anonymous Browsing session, you look like a newbie, with no search history).
- While in Anonymous Browsing, you also won’t get personalized push notifications based on your Reddit activity during the session (any personalized notifications you receive during Anonymous Browsing would be related to prior activity associated with your logged-in Reddit accounts).
- When you exit an Anonymous Browsing session, you are returned to the account you were previously using, and Reddit clears and deletes the browsing and search history for the session off the device you’re using. Any data collected during the session is only connected to the unique IDs, not your Reddit account.
Anonymous Browsing is rolling out on the official Reddit for Android app. To access this feature, tap on your profile picture and then tap on the username to open a list of accounts, and select the new option.
While most Redditors prefer different third-party clients to access the website, the official app has continued to grow in popularity ever since its launch. The official Reddit for Android app has received several key updates in the past, like spoiler and NSFW tagging, account switching, ability to view subreddit wikis, showing warnings before posting on highly moderated subreddits, dark mode, and more.