There are literally dozens of third-party apps for the online community Reddit, from mini meme-makers to feature-rich native clients, like the popular Alien Blue, for example. But we’re getting a kick out of a new app called Karma Swipe (click the link on your smartphone), which offers a simple, swipeable mobile interface for Reddit, heavily focused on Reddit’s visual content, including funny photos and GIFs.
The experience feels a lot like Tinder, as you can swipe the Reddit images off either side of the screen.
Currently, Karma Swipe is only available as a mobile web app, but its creator, Jisi Guo, formerly the head of product at payments startup Ribbon, says he’s working now to bring Karma Swipe to both iOS and Android as a native application. When those are complete, swiping left or right will also indicate whether or not you’re voting an item “up” or “down” on Reddit – a feature which Karma Swipe today is sadly lacking.
Guo, who now works full time at mobile messaging startup Leo says Karma Swipe was a weekend project he got involved with because “browsing Reddit on a phone is quite a tedious process,” he explains.
“I thought this would be a much better experience on mobile. It’s proven to be quite addictive,” he adds. We have to agree, having now wasted half the morning, ahem, testing this app. (Apparently we’re not alone – on its first day, the app saw 25,000+ swipes.)
“I launched this as a mobile web app first because it was quicker to develop and shows off some of the modern capabilities of the web. In terms of getting users to develop habits, I do think native is a better option and am looking to port it over soon,” says Guo.
The interface is very basic for now, with a navigation section off to the left where you can select “Home,” type in any subreddit, or tap other categories like “Funny,” “Pics” and “GIFs.” And at the top of each section, there’s also an option to tweet the link or tap a link icon to open up a new window on Reddit proper.
Of course, when (and if) Karma Swipe makes its way to the App Store, it will face a number of competitors, including others which offer something of a “swipeable” experience, like MyRedditFree. But while that app offers a decidedly more robust feature set, there’s something to be said for the minimal and ultimately more lightweight experience that Karma Swipe offers today.