Awards are little icons on posts you might have come across while scrolling around Reddit, and they’re given by other users to show appreciation for a post. Perhaps the most commonly-known award is Reddit Gold, which shows up as a gold medal with a star, but there also reaction awards and awards specific to certain communities.
To buy an award, you need to use Reddit Coins, but if you don’t already have some, you aren’t able to get any more of them as of Thursday, according to a post from Reddit admin (employee) venkman01. Awards and existing coins will still be available until September 12th, and the change to the awards and coins systems means that Reddit Premium subscribers won’t get a regular allotment of coins.
“While we saw many of the awards used as a fun way to recognize contributions from your fellow redditors, looking back at those eons, we also saw consistent feedback on awards as a whole,” venkman01 said. “First, many don’t appreciate the clutter from awards (50+ awards right now, but who’s counting?) and all the steps that go into actually awarding content. Second, redditors want awarded content to be more valuable to the recipient.”
“We want to create a system that is simple, easy to use, and easy to understand.”
Reddit does have plans for some kind of award system in the future, but the post only provides vague hints about what that might look like. “Rewarding content and contribution (as well as something golden) will still be a core part of Reddit,” venkman01 said. “In the coming months, we’ll be sharing more about a new direction for awarding that allows redditors to empower one another and create more meaningful ways to reward high-quality contributions on Reddit.” In a reply, venkman01 said that “we want to create a system that is simple, easy to use, and easy to understand.”
Many users aren’t happy with Reddit’s decision. “Killing features without replacements ready, yep, sounds like Reddit to me,” wrote one user in a highly-awarded reply. Another, replying to an announcement post in a subreddit for moderator news, expressed unhappiness that Reddit isn’t providing some sort of compensation or transition into the next system. And for users already frustrated at Reddit over new API pricing that forced some popular third-party apps to shut down, the loss of awards like Reddit Gold, arguably one of the most iconic elements of the platform, could sting that much more.
While Reddit hasn’t specified what the new system might look like, Android Authority may have dug up some clues. Based on code in the Reddit’s Android app, Reddit appears to be working on a “contributor program” that would let users cash out gold or karma (basically, points you get for posts, comments, or giving awards) they receive into real money. Reddit didn’t respond to a request for comment sent Wednesday about Android Authority’s article.