On Wednesday, Reddit announced it was updating its privacy settings in an effort to standardize ad personalization and account visibility controls. Specifically, it’s doing away with the option to disable ad personalization based on users’ Reddit behavior.
Unnamed “select countries” will still have the option to opt out, the company said. According to a blog post, users won’t actually see more ads after the update, but they will see ads that are more relevant to them.
We appreciate that Reddit requires so little of our private data. Instead, “Reddit’s advertisers rely on your on-platform activity, such as the communities you join and leave, as well as your upvotes and downvotes, to gauge your potential interest in their products,” the company explained.
The company is essentially eliminating the choice to not be tracked based on your activity on Reddit.
In addition, Reddit is merging its two ad-based activity and partner data toggles into a single setting. It’s now impossible to distinguish between the two environments.
Toggles that allowed users to receive post recommendations based on their “general location” and activity on partner sites and apps appear to be disappearing from the Reddit interface. That those parameters will be used automatically for post suggestions without an option to disable them is unclear.
The social media platform has announced that it will implement measures to restrict advertisements related to topics like alcohol, obesity, dating, gambling, pregnancy, and parenting.
The firm warned that disabling ad controls might reduce the number of ads in the specified categories, but might not completely eliminate them. Reddit explained this by saying it is not completely accurate because it uses a combination of manual tagging and machine learning to categorize advertisements.
To make it easier for users to adjust their location preferences, Reddit is consolidating them into a single menu that can be accessed through the app’s settings or the website’s general preferences.
Several updates have been made to the social network in an effort to boost advertising revenue. When it changed the terms of its data API, many third-party clients stopped working and subreddits protested. It introduced a new creator rewards program last week to encourage more and higher-quality content creation. However, a new feature was added that simplified the process of redeeming Gold for rewards.
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman addressed IPO speculation in a June interview with The Verge by saying, “Getting to breakeven is a priority for us in any climate.”