Love it or hate it, Reddit’s old-school design is getting a makeover.
In an effort to attract new users, Reddit on Monday started rolling out a new look on the desktop. For now, it’s only available to a select group of random users, but Reddit is offering previews for those who want to check it out. Switch between three different views, including a Facebook-looking “card” mode, a content-condensing “compact” view, or a “classic” format that tweaks the old design.
According to Wired, the new layout also introduces a navigation bar on the left that will list your subscriptions and favorite subreddits. And Reddit is adding new illustrations of Snoo, the platform’s alien mascot, across the site.
In November, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said one of the main goals behind the redesign was to decrease “the bounce rate of first-time visitors” put off by the site’s appearance.
“Many of us evangelize Reddit and tell people how awesome it is, what an impact it’s made in their life, how much it makes them laugh, etc, and then when those new people decide to check out Reddit for the first time they’re greeted with dystopian Craigslist,” he added. “We’d like to fix that.”
Reddit is soliciting feedback on the new layout, which has been in the works for more than a year. It also plans on introducing new features like a nightmode and keyboard shortcuts.
Not everyone is jazzed about the redesign, which displays less text on a page. “‘Card'” looks horrible. You’re basically angling to make it like Facebook,” wrote one user.
“I’ve been here for over 10 years, and the simple text is the best way to consume the most amount of knowledge,” said another. “If you make my shit like a profile page, instead of just a text page, I’m out.”
A main worry is that Reddit will eventually insert more ads thanks to the new formats. But for the Reddit faithful, the old design is not going away. “You can switch back and forth via a banner across the top or visit old.reddit.com,” the service said. “Furthermore, we do not have plans to do away with the current site.”