[Update: Response] Reddit users revolt against the iOS app’s new video player

[Update: Response] Reddit users revolt against the iOS app’s new video player

Wall Street isn't the only thing Redditors are revolting against

Update 1 (02/02/2021 @ 2:28 PM ET): The Reddit administrators have posted an announcement explaining their position behind the recent video player changes. Click here for more information. The article as published on February 1, 2021, is preserved below.

When Redditors are displeased with something, they make it abundantly clear. One needs to look no further than the current war between retail investors on /r/WallStreetBets and institutional investors on Wall Street. While meme stocks are currently dominating the front page of the Internet, a lot of users are not happy with how Reddit’s hot memes are being delivered to them. The official Reddit for iOS app recently received an update that added a new video player UI, and many users don’t like it one bit.

The Reddit Mobile subreddit, the community where Reddit administrators notify users of new Android and iOS app updates, is currently filled to the brim with complaints about the new video player. Many users describe the experience as TikTok or Instagram-like. Others simply say it’s too intrusive and also requires more button presses to reach the comments section of a post. Here’s a screen recording that shows off the new video player UI in Reddit for iOS:

[iOS][2021.03.0] Why does it now take three actions to get to the comments on a video? I was quite happy just pressing one icon. I’m not impressed with this update at all. from r/redditmobile


The new video player UI has yet to reach the Android version, but we’d be surprised if Reddit pushes ahead with the controversial video player changes in their current form. Personally, I use Reddit is Fun on Android, but I’ve been tempted to switch over to the official app since a lot of new features aren’t available to third-party apps (eg Chat). I definitely won’t switch over if this is the direction that the official Reddit app is headed. Fortunately, many third-party Reddit clients provide a better core experience than the official mobile app, so the benefits of staying away from the official app outweigh the downsides in my opinion. On iOS, I’ve heard great things about the Apollo app, so check that out if you’re looking to switch to an alternative.


Update 1: “An update on Reddit video”

In a post on /r/Changelog, the Reddit administrators have explained why they’re pushing forward with changes to the video player. The company says that it currently maintains up to 10 different video players across the platforms it supports. This obviously complicates things and prevents them from making many changes to the video playing experience for users. That’s why the company is developing a new “unified player” based on its “newest and best-performing video player,” the one they created for Reddit’s live streaming service called Reddit Public Access Network (RPAN).

The new unified video player is currently in testing on mobile with a small percentage of users on iOS. It will soon be pushed to a small percentage of Android users as well. The current iteration of the video player has proven controversial, though to be fair, an overhaul of the video player is long overdue. The native video player generally loads videos more slowly and in lower quality compared to YouTube.

The company says it is shipping updates in phases and gathering feedback on UI and performance bugs, and they have already implemented the following changes:

  • Video in the new player will start where you left off watching in the feed
  • You can dismiss swipe tutorial now
  • More performance improvements and technical bugs
  • Tapping on a post’s comment icon will open up the comment tray, so you can see the comment thread before adding your comment

Reddit is also planning an overhaul of its video player for the web, but they haven’t shared any details yet. The company also plans to tweak the notifications inbox and settings, make “mark all as read” available on the web, redesign email notifications, add new awards, and test making mobile web users in certain countries sign in to view content. You can read about these other changes in more detail at the official /r/Blog post.

About author

Mishaal Rahman
Mishaal Rahman

I am the Editor-in-chief of XDA. In addition to breaking news on the Android OS and mobile devices, I manage all editorial and reviews content on the Portal. Tips/media inquiries: [email protected]