Over the weekend, rumors and speculation began circulating on Reddit. Users were wondering what cryptic messages on r/pan, a new Reddit community, could mean. Today, Reddit pulled back the curtain. It announced Reddit Public Access Network (r/pan), a weeklong experiment, in which users can post livestream videos. The lessons Reddit learns from this experiment will likely help it develop a permanent livestreaming option in the near future.
As Wired points out, in 2019, it's hard to be a platform without live video. But livestreaming has also led to horrific content. That's part of the reason Reddit's foray into livestreaming is temporary. The team has put together a system that might work, but it will be able to adjust things as necessary after this trial period. "First and foremost, this is about having fun as a Reddit community, and if you all enjoy it, we'll continue to explore how it might work as an actual feature," Reddit says.
The platform will also set strict rules. According to Alex Le, VP of product, the livestreams will be tightly curated. No more than 100 concurrent streams will be permitted, and each will be limited to 30 minutes, Wired reports. NSFW, dangerous or illegal activity and "quarantine eligible" content will not be allowed. The livestreams will use the rear-facing camera by default, to discourage selfie streams. And, of course, users will be able to vote streams up or down. Regardless of how the trial run goes, Reddit will likely set similar rules when it's ready to launch a permanent livestream option.