When Reddit introduced r/place as its April Fools’ Day experience in 2017, it became a massive hit and proved that the place can also be a place where an art piece can be produced. The website provided a huge white blank communal digital canvas and allowed the logged-in redditors to place tiles of different colors every five minutes. Many patronized the idea, resulting in approximately 16 million tiles placed by one million redditors at that time. The result was a piece of incredible work depicting various images created by countless users. After five years (and after the eager plea of redditors every year to bring it back), Reddit is now resurrecting it again on April 1.
“We’ve always taken a different path and used April Fools’ Day as an opportunity to test new ideas and systems and connect with users – this year is no different,” Reddit says on its post. “r/place was created and brought back to explore a piece of humanity – to examine what happens when a person doing something affects a collective. Specifically, what happens if you only let an individual place one tile at a time, so that they must work with others to build together on a massive online cooperative canvas.”
To start it, just tap or click on the new widget icon with the letter “P” at the top of the home feed or open the community drawer in the app and tap on it. Reddit also reminded its users to log into their accounts to participate in placing tiles on the r/place canvas. Those logged out of their accounts can still see the canvas getting filled with colored tiles though they won’t be able to place one.
According to a post on Reddit, r/place will start at 9 AM ET on the first day of April up to April 4 at 9:00 PM PT. It will give redditors a total of 87 hours to fill up the blank canvas. Those who want to participate will be a part of the 50 million-plus daily active users on the website from more than 100,000 communities.
“We learned from the original experiment that people online are naturally collaborative, that redditors are more creative than we are, and that Reddit is a place where great things blossom,” said Alex Le, EVP Strategy and Special Projects at Reddit. “April Fools’ Day on Reddit has a history of inspiring how we build new features on the platform. From Robin inspiring our real-time chat product to Circle of Trust inspiring real-time comment and upvote counts, April Fools’ Day provides Reddit a period to test infrastructure at a grand scale and try things that are new and off the wall. We look forward to seeing what collaboration happens on r/place this year and learning how we can better our platform.”