Reddit Loseit is a new product from Reddit co-creator/developer Victoria Gehringer. It allows users of Reddit to save, organize, and submit links directly to the top results on the site. This is different than most programs because instead of having the top result on the left when you visit a site, you have it on the right. This functionality is similar to the ”dofollow” functionality used by Twitter but instead of leaving users hanging about after they clicked a link, Reddit Loseit will instantly direct them back to the post in question.
This might sound counterproductive to the whole idea of working to lose weight long-term, but the Loseit feature does work. Users reported that while they often browse other sites that feature ”dofollow” functionality, the Loseit link usually takes them straight to the place where they want to be. And while this isn’t exactly a weight loss story worthy of the front page of The New York Times, editors do seem to be feeling good about the product overall.
The negative aspects of Reddit Loseit, however, are more than just the fact that it directs users away from their preferred sources of entertainment. Users reported that they were instructed to hit the ”lose” button in order to access the results, and that they are seeing a decreased return rate for links that they submit. While many users chalk up the low success of this tool as a problem with the original implementation of the feature – which was to allow users to see results based on how many of their friends had visited the corresponding post – other creditors provided more practical explanations. According to these people, the low number of friends who visit each post could be a more important factor than the low number who actually click on the link.
In addition to users looking to submit links to their own posts, the first post in the Reddit Weight Loss Program may have an impact on the success of the program overall. According to many users, seeing as how only one out of 10 visits is likely to result in a submission, seeing one or two comments from a friend who has recently lost weight can lead to a quicker weight loss. This is because the friend was already motivated by their own experience, and may be more inclined to use the weight loss tracking system to help them achieve their own weight loss goals.
Based on the way the Reddit Weight Loss Program functions, it would make sense for the administrators to allow users to comment on their first posts. By doing this, the administrators would be able to collect additional data regarding user participation – which in turn would provide a more accurate measurement of user engagement. However, Reddit representatives state that this will not change the way the system works, and that they will still be collecting feedback through the ”weight loss subreddits” (the reddiquette postings that precede each post). While there is no guarantee that users who visit the forum will take advantage of the tracking capabilities offered by Reddit Loseit, the administrators state that they will continue to track user participation based on all of the feedback received from the first posts. The only way to know for sure is by seeing what types of comments receive the most feedback and make suggestions to improve the program moving forward.
The administrators also claim that it is up to individual users whether or not they want to make comments during their first post or subsequent posts. Therefore, anyone who has already created a profile but has not submitted any posts will not be counted as a contributor. Those who have already expressed an interest in losing weight through other posts may choose to make comments throughout the year – but only if they have not created a profile yet. The lack of a central location for posting comments, combined with the ability to create as many profiles as a user might want, provides Reddit with both the means of reaching as many people as possible with the program as well as ensuring that only those interested will see their names among the list of contributors to the first post, and those who haven’t expressed any interest will not be included. For those who would like to participate in the weight loss program, the Reddit Loseit program will surely prove to be an interesting addition to the online community.