Reddit is rolling out a number of updates to its website for logged-out users, including improved performance, a more helpful search results page and better communities and related post suggestions.
The company said in a blog post on Monday that people are coming to the Reddit website from different search engines to find relevant content on a topic posted by users, so it is improving the experience for the folks visiting the service occasionally or for the first time.
Reddit said it has simplified the search result page on the site with a new layout. It noted that on mobile, the search result page now prioritizes posts over other elements.
The platform has also made design changes to the landing page to let people browse through content without searching. On the top, there are six trending posts instead of four shown previously. The company also mentioned that posts now have increased title sizes with an improved inset for images and videos.
On desktop, Reddit’s new site shows a sticky sidebar, so you can scroll through the content independently to highlight relevant communities or posts. When logged-out users visit a subreddit’s landing page, they will see information about the community, such as the community banner, description, number of members and rules of the community in the sidebar. Reddit specified that while a lot of subreddits have custom styling, logged-out users won’t see that at the moment.
Additionally, Reddit is adding performance adjustments to the logged-out site experience to make its pages load twice as fast as before.
This is the social network’s second update rollout for the logged-out experience this year. In March, it made the pages screen reader friendly along with making the webpages cleaner.
The latest updates will be available across both mobile and desktop web experiences, the company said. The mobile site, however, still shows an annoying popup asking users if they want to open a post in the app, as many users pointed out under the announcement post. I have also seen the popup appear as soon as I open a Reddit link on the mobile browser.
Last week, the company announced that it is testing its own verification mark through ‘official’ badges with limited accounts. It also promised that in August, the platform is introducing new accessibility features for its apps to make them screen reader-friendly. However, the communities protesting Reddit’s API changes — which forced a lot of third-party apps to shut down — were not pleased by these promises.
Reddit’s change to accommodate users without an account is a welcome change. Last month, Twitter briefly forced users to have an account to see any tweet before removing that requirement. While users can see particular tweets without logging in, they can’t explore the site. Meta’s Threads app also lets you see accounts and posts, but it doesn’t have a fully functional web service. The decentralized social network Mastodon is an exception and lets you explore different posts on the mastodon.social server.
The platform’s change to its web experience comes as more users are looking to use Reddit as a search engine — even if they are appending “Reddit” to their Google search queries. Plus, it’s another surface for the company to show ads as it focuses on profitability.