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Sequential success?: Reddit’s 2019 April Fool’s Day event

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Zack Mattaboni

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Sequential success?: Reddit’s 2019 April Fool’s Day event

Each year Reddit holds an April Fool's Day event to gather more attention to their website.  The 2019 event was filled with many gifs.

Each year Reddit holds an April Fool's Day event to gather more attention to their website. The 2019 event was filled with many gifs.

Reddit.com

Each year Reddit holds an April Fool's Day event to gather more attention to their website. The 2019 event was filled with many gifs.

Reddit.com

Reddit.com

Each year Reddit holds an April Fool's Day event to gather more attention to their website. The 2019 event was filled with many gifs.

Moments on the internet that pull large groups of people together toward one goal are quite rare, thus making Reddit April Fool’s events quite unique.  

Reddit is a social media platform that has a large number of users, and every year they host an event on April Fool’s Day. These events on Reddit are meaningful and follow a specific set of ideas that Reddit wants to test with and use for its community.

These events on Reddit are meaningful and follow a specific set of ideas that Reddit wants to test and use with its community.

Our April Fool’s celebration is more than a fun gag; it’s a unique social experiment that gives us insight into our community, and a tool that allows us to test new technologies, understand their impact on our infrastructure and pressure-test new feature performance at scale,” said a post from Upvoted , the official Reddit blog, from May 2018.

Our April Fool’s celebration is more than a fun gag, it’s a unique social experiment that gives us insight into our community,”

— Upvoted

However, they started their 2019 event differently than usual to follow up the trials set last year with the late release mentioned in the Upvoted blog post.

A group of people known as Snakeroom rose to the challenge, doing many mathematical calculations and data mining the website to find links and gifs. These hinted at the gif sequencer and provided a fun event before the start of the official event.

The actual event, r/sequence (reddit.com/r/sequence), officially began around halfway through April Fool’s Day of 2019 and sparked a lot of general interest at first. The theme seemed to be around using gifs and text to create a sequence of clips that were to form a larger video in the r/sequence “gif sequencer.” These videos were split into a prologue, 5 acts, and an epilogue. Overall, it was up to the general public of Reddit to create these videos through the methods provided.

Unfortunately, this seemed to spark some disinterest after a bit of time. Unlike r/place of 2017, people seemed to stop trying to influence the gifs after the first day and left only a few thousand people to tend to find gifs to make the clips from. This is in contrast to the hundreds of thousands who visited r/sequence on the first day and a large number of people who participated in previous events.

Overall, the event was a decent success, just not as big of a success as that of previous years. However, the event was even partially disliked within the group that was heavily involved.

“How it worked was confusing for multiple hours… and once people finally figured it out, the system was being gamed by centralized groups… so for anyone outside of those groups, there was really no incentive to participate.” Reddit user cosmopath, the founder of the Snakeroom group, said.

The event had a strong finish with its epilogue toward the later hours of April 3, with the subreddit dedicated to the event yet to be archived as of April 4.

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Sequential success?: Reddit’s 2019 April Fool’s Day event