Remember no pics day, the experiment to see if social news site Reddit was any better without images?
For subreddit r/funny, the event was a record breaking day in traffic — until the day after.
The subreddit drew about 2.5 million impressions on Wednesday; no pics day — that’s about 800,000 more than the day before. On Thursday, that jumped to over 3 million.
But despite that traffic surge, this will be the last such experiment for a while, according to one of the forum’s moderators, doug3465.
“I do not think it will be happening again anytime soon,” doug3465 wrote in a message to the Daily Dot, “because the feedback thread is pretty much full of hate mail and people who hated it.” (Be sure to check out our summary of the community’s reaction here).
So why the traffic surge?
doug3465 has a couple of ideas.
First, the text from r/funny posts on the front page were internal Reddit links. So instead of clicking through to an image hosting site, users clicked through to the forum itself.
Then, the day after, curious redditors clicked through to see the aftermath.
Yet despite the big user pushback, doug3465 said the experiment was good for the forum: “I think it was a nice breathe of fresh air for r/funny. Recently it has been dominated by pics, so it’s nice to see a change.”
And besides, the hate mail came from only the most vocal group.
“There were plenty of people who enjoyed it as well,” doug3465 wrote. “Some people have even asked us to do it once a week, but I don’t think that will be happening.”
Because despite legitimate complaints that many redditors have about images, the fact is that they’ve become an important form of communication on the site. And banning them altogther alienates a quite sizable group of the site’s users.