Reddit is the front page of the internet, the birthplace of memes, the only social media site that has more visitors than Facebook. It also offers a membership tier called Reddit Premium. So, what is Reddit Premium and how does it work?
Every Website Has Bills to Pay
Perhaps the most community-centric platform there is, Reddit has always been open and honest about ads, and seems less driven by money than Instagram or Facebook. But like any other business, Reddit has bills to pay.
Gold was launched in 2010 as one of the ways to do pay the bills. “Gilding” became a thing as integral to Reddit as upvotes and karma. But you may have noticed that in 2018 the “Give Gold” option next to Reddit links disappeared, and a Reddit Premium option appeared instead.
In this article we take an in-depth look at Reddit Premium, explaining what it is and how it works. We also explain what happened to Reddit Gold.
What Is Reddit Premium?
Reddit Premium is the paid membership that replaced Reddit Gold in 2018, several months after the Reddit redesign was rolled out. Since so many Redditors routinely confused the Gold membership with the Gold you can give, Reddit decided to rebrand those two concepts.
With the new names came some new perks, but the platform also killed some of the beloved old features. There’s also been a price change, which was less welcomed in the community.
Reddit Premium vs. Reddit Gold
The switch from Reddit Gold to Reddit Premium sparked grumbling in /TheoryOfReddit, with users accusing the platform of corporate greed and saying the new award names are “dripping with hello fellow kids-level tackiness.”
Whether you agree with these opinions or not, Reddit Premium is here to stay. Here’s how it’s different from the Reddit Gold of olden days:
- It’s 1.5 times more expensive. The monthly subscription cost has gone up from $3.99 to $5.99.
- You can’t pay per year any more. There’s no yearly subscription option for Premium, so you’ll to have to pay every month. That can come in handy if you decide to cancel after a few months though.
- You get Coins every month. Previously Creddits, Reddit Coins are a virtual currency you can buy awards with. The Premium membership gives you a monthly allowance of Coins.
- Gilding became “awarding.” The award system is a little more complex than gilding used to be and has three tiers: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Gold gives the person you awarded one week of Premium membership, while Platinum gives them Premium for one month. Silver doesn’t give any Premium benefits and is basically a way to super upvote someone.
If you previously had the Reddit Gold membership, you automatically became a Reddit Premium member. The price remains the same for you, regardless of whether you pay monthly or annually.
What You Get With Reddit Premium
So what does that $5.99/month buy, exactly? And are the extra features really worth the money? Here are the perks you get with a Reddit Premium membership.
Coins to Spend
When you first subscribe to Reddit Premium, you get a one-time bonus of 1,000 coins, and after that you earn 700 coins every month. These coins don’t expire. You can use them to give Silver, Gold, or Platinum to thank other Redditors for the links and comments you appreciate.
A Few Power Features
When you return to a conversation, the new comments will be highlighted, which some Redditors find useful. You can also see more comments on the page and customize Snoo, Reddit’s alien mascot, to make your own snoovatar.
Access to a Members-Only Subreddit
The r/lounge subreddit sounds like an elite club with free champagne and foot massages, but Redditors describe it as just “a silly hangout spot for users with gold.” Much like everywhere else on Reddit, people post jokes and discuss random things there.
Sure, you can do that with ad blockers and some third-party Reddit apps and extensions. However, like many websites out there, Reddit relies on ad revenue, so blocking the ads means stripping the team of their income. By paying for Premium, you can support the Reddit team and compensate the work they’ve been doing without having to deal with ads.
A Premium Badge on Your Profile
If the Lounge access doesn’t make you feel special enough, you also get a badge on your profile indicating you’re a Premium member.
Is Reddit Premium Worth the Money?
As you would expect, opinions differ on this. Many earlier Gold members call the new Premium membership “way overpriced” and say they won’t be renewing. But some current members believe it’s not that expensive and say they like supporting a platform they enjoy.
What both sides agree on is that the r/lounge is pretty much pointless, and that the ad-free experience is easy to emulate with an ad blocker. The Coins seem to be the only worthwhile feature, but you don’t have to be a Premium member to buy them.
The bottom line is, Reddit Premium seems to be worth it only as a way to support the platform you love. With a yearly total of $72, you’re simply not getting that much value for your money.
Thrive on Reddit, With or Without Premium
Reddit Premium gives you a bit of an edge over other Redditors, enabling you to reward the links and comments you appreciate and generally giving you that sweet sense of privilege. But the selling point of Premium is not any of those things. Instead, it’s providing financial support for the platform and allowing it to continue existing.
Obviously, Reddit Premium doesn’t make your jokes any funnier and your links any more popular. Nor does it influence your karma in any way. So if you want to thrive on Reddit, you’ll still have to put in some effort and contribute to the community in a way that’s entertaining and smart.
Which, above all else, means observing the established Reddiquette and not doing any of the things you should never do on Reddit.