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Reddit winds down Dubsmash, but its video creation tools live on

Reddit will shut down its short-form video platform, Dubsmash, on February 22nd, 2022. After February, the app will no longer be available on apps stores and will stop functioning on devices that already have the app.

A competitor to TikTok, Dubsmash was acquired by Reddit late last year with the purpose of embedding its video creation tools into the larger platform. Now that the integration is nearing completion, Reddit is introducing a slew of new video creation tools to its own TikTok-like video feed, courtesy of the Dubsmash team that came over with the buyout.

“Our primary focus, in terms of the acquisition, was around bringing in the expertise from the team, as well as bringing in the technology that we had built over the past five years at Dubsmash,” said Suchit Dash, the vice president of video at Reddit and a co-founder of Dubsmash, in an interview with The Verge.

As a part of the update, Reddit is overhauling its camera — it’s adding features that let you change the speed of your video, set a timer, adjust and trim multiple clips, as well as upload videos to the platform in landscape, portrait, and fill modes. Reddit is also devising exclusive lenses, including one that puts your (or your pet’s) face inside a slice of bread, as well as another that plants the antenna from Snoo (Reddit’s mascot) atop your head.

The platform is implementing a more full-featured editing screen as well, which should make it easier to edit videos in-app rather than force you to use external editing tools. It will now let you apply filters, add voiceovers, make volume adjustments, use stickers, rearrange your clips, and experiment with its drawing tool.

While a number of Dubsmash’s innovations are coming over to Reddit, it may struggle to recreate Dubsmash’s vibrant community. Since Dubsmash’s initial 2014 debut, the app became a hub for many Black and Latinx creators, who will have to jump to another app — or maybe even Reddit — ahead of its closure.

Dash said that video is now picking up in popularity on Reddit itself. “It’s one of our fastest-growing content types,” he said. This year alone, Reddit saw a 70 percent uptick in overall video hours watched, along with a 30 percent increase in daily active video viewers. Viewership for short videos, which Reddit defines as two seconds or less, has also risen by 50 percent quarter over quarter.

The platform launched a TikTok-style feed on its iOS app in August, featuring an endless stream of short videos that you can downvote, upvote, comment on, share, or award. When asked when the video feed would be coming to Android, Dash told The Verge that Reddit is “beginning the process of rolling that out on Android clients” and also hinted that the same video feed may be coming to web as well.

“Our goal is to make sure that we can actually allow for everyone who’s on Reddit — regardless of the platform that they use — to have a great video experience,” Dash said. “We’re starting largely with our mobile clients, but we have ambition to go beyond that.”

As to whether Reddit has any plans to integrate sounds or music into its creation tools, which TikTok popularized and other social platforms like Snapchat and Instagram quickly caught on to, it looks like that’s not happening anytime soon. “We’re always really excited to see new use cases for creators, so no plans for us,” Dash told The Verge. “But we’re always exploring new ways of what we can bring to the community.”

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