The so-called “front page of the Internet” has launched a new dedicated AMA app for iOS, with an Android version arriving later this week. Reddit users have long sought an official mobile app from the network after an original version launched in January 2011 ended up failing due to poor design user complaints. This AMA app is the first part of a new collection of mobile software the company is looking to develop, a move it signalled back in April when it announced it was looking for talent to help it with the initiative.
Reddit’s AMA or “Ask Me Anything” feature is just one part of the larger experience, but giving the open interview format its own dedicated mobile software makes a lot of sense, as it offers a medium that may be more naturally conducive to browsing and engaging in these Q&A sessions, which typically feature celebrities or newsmakers of the moment.
The AMA app is designed to make it easier for those new to Reddit to access and follow AMA content, according to Reddit VP Ellen Pao speaking to Variety, and that goal applies to all their mobile development efforts. Reddit has a lot of traction and high engagement, but it’s also dense and unwelcoming to new users, especially if those users are coming with more casual interest. The mobile app is night and day from the threaded, text-dense website, with a cleaner, lighter look, and it has navigation options that make the existing trove of post AMAs easy for new users to find and page through.
Based on a quick hands-on tour, the Reddit AMA app looks to be an improvement over the web interface, and will likely be my default destination for reading these things from now on. Reddit’s design choices are sometimes questionable, including using its signature logo font throughout, but for the AMA format at least, its latest mobile efforts make a lot of sense. The company still has to be wary of alienating its dedicated fan base in seeking new users, but the app’s design and nature show that initially at least, it’s taking baby steps in trying to finally make the leap into mobile.