Mobile users of online discussion forum Reddit will be able to let people know where they’re located.
Reddit, the self-labeled “front page of the internet,” has partnered with location check-in app Foursquare to use its data to power a new Reddit feature debuting today that lets users add their location to any post.
The new feature helps Reddit users add “content and interest” to their posts beyond the usual discussion of politics and pop culture by its 250 million users, Mike Harkey, Foursquare’s vice president of business development, said in a blog post announcing the partnership. He gave the example of users tagging their locations when posting food photos or discussing trips to their local parks. “Think of location in Reddit as an extra emphasis — at-the-ready like the perfect punctuation, or headline,” Harkey wrote.
For Foursquare, the deal marks the latest step in the company’s evolution from a social media app to its more recent incarnation as a “location intelligence” company. Foursquare has previously licensed its database of more than 90 million mapped locations—public places like stores, restaurants, or museums—to companies such as Uber and Airbnb, and the company also began offering up its mobile notification system to developers earlier this year.
Foursquare also pointed out that the location-tagging feature is optional, which is not surprising considering that many Reddit users prefer to remain anonymous on the site. Mobile users who enable location services will simply see a drop-down menu with options for tagging a location.
The move marks Reddit’s latest attempt to increase engagement as the site moves closer to the model of a mainstream social network. In March, Reddit started rolling out public profiles for its users and, last year, the company finally released mobile versions of the site with iOS and Android apps. Adding location-tagging is another way for Reddit to appear more like other social media sites, with some people noting recently that Reddit is beginning to look more and more like Facebook and Twitter.
Reddit has seen quite a few changes since co-founders Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman returned to the 12-year-old company in 2015, after interim CEO Ellen Pao stepped down in the wake of a user revolt over her firing of a popular Reddit employee. In addition to the site’s new features, the company’s makeover has seen crackdowns on online harassment and spam, with Ohanian shutting down two popular forums frequented by the “alt-right,” a group often associated with white nationalists and other racist groups.