Reddit’s Contributor Program could earn you real money for your Reddit karma

Reddit stock photo 5

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • Code within the official Reddit app suggests that the company is working on a Contributor program.
  • Redditors in the US could earn real money for the gold and karma that their posts and comments receive.
  • This will likely be subject to minimum withdrawal thresholds.

Reddit has been in the news recently for its API changes that killed popular Reddit apps and the subreddit protests that followed the announcement. The company believes the official Reddit app is all you need for a great community experience. We say the Reddit app is good for giving us a sneak peek at what the company is working on. In the near future, Reddit could introduce a Contributor program that will reward community contributors with real-world money.

An APK teardown helps predict features that may arrive on a service in the future based on work-in-progress code. However, it is possible that such predicted features may not make it to a public release.

Reddit v2023.27.0 for Android includes code that suggests that the online community platform is looking for ways to incentivize the community to be more proactive. Similar to how other platforms reward creators, Reddit could be exploring ways that would let community members convert the gold and karma they have received from other community members into real-world money that they can cash out. Check out the references below.

Code

Fake internet points are finally worth something!
Now redditors can earn real money for their contributions to the Reddit community, based on the karma and gold they've been given.
How it works:
* Redditors give gold to posts, comments, or other contributions they think are really worth something.
* Eligible contributors that earn enough karma and gold can cash out their earnings for real money.
* Contributors apply to the program to see if they're eligible.
* Top contributors make top dollar. The more karma and gold contributors earn, the more money they can receive.

The code suggests that the program will initially have two tiers: Contributor and Top Contributor. Top Contributors will have better rates.

Further, from what we can discern, the payout could use Reddit gold as a currency, while the karma accumulated could be used to improve the rate of exchange for Reddit gold into real-world money (possibly USD). Note that the community itself passes around Reddit gold and karma to each other. Reddit gold is purchased with real-world money, while karma is a net figure of upvotes and downvotes on comments and posts.

Before you get too excited, the program appears to have some constraints around eligibility:

Code

Not just anyone can be a contributor. To join and stay in the program, contributors need to meet a few requirements:
* Be over 18 and live in the U.S.
* Only Safe for Work contributions qualify
* Earn xx gold and karma each month
* Provide verification information. You must have at least 10 gold and 100 karma to begin verification.
* NSFW accounts aren't eligible for the Contributors Program

With a threshold of 10 gold and 100 karma for verification, the bare minimum is set at a high enough point to not be easy to game. Contributors will have to further earn an unspecified number of gold and karma each month to be eligible for payouts within the program.

Here is what could be the necessary information needed for verification:

Code

Provide the following information to get verified for the program and start earning:
* Email
* Personal Information
* Tax and bank account information

The verification appears to be powered by Persona and Stripe.

Code

Once you hit the payment threshold, you'll automatically be paid out via your Stripe account.
* Approximate calculation before fees. Exchange rate and payment thresholds are subject to
change.

The payout threshold is not mentioned within the code, and neither is the monthly gold and karma requirement for being part of the contributor program.

Curiously, unlike the creator programs of other social platforms, Reddit’s purported Contributor Program will be routing community-purchased gold and karma back into the community. We could not locate any mentions of Contributors receiving any part of ad or subscription revenue from the platform, which is usually how the creator programs of other platforms work. In effect, the community would be incentivizing the community.

Do you think Reddit’s contributor program is a good idea?

147 votes

Note that the program, so far, does not explicitly mention any community moderators within its ambit, and no incentives have been carved out for them. However, since Reddit has not made any official announcements, things could change by the time the program goes live.

We’ve reached out to Reddit for comments and more information. We’ll update the article when we hear back from them.

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