Thursday, May 19, 2022

Watching r/Place’s timelapse is like staring into the heart of Reddit

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

Even though you can no longer place tiles on Reddit’s r/Place canvas, which was a revival of an April Fools’ Day experiment, the platform gave us a chance to relive the experience. The company has provided a wealth of data, including: a summary post that’s about numbers and stats (things like which country has placed the most tiles or which subs have talked the most about r/Place), in addition a full CSV dataset for people to tinker with if they want to.

But as someone who watched the chaos unfold by checking in every hour or so (and putting in a few tiles of their own), the coolest thing Reddit has posted is a three minute time lapse that shows how the canvas has been shaped by users over four days.

Watching it evolve is like staring into the heart of Reddit. You’ll see communities fight to take over tiles or team up to create their own works of art – including everything from a Among us crew member to a giant trans pride flag. And, you know, a terrifying face peeking out of a void (which pops up multiple times, of course).

The GIF ends up with an explosion of white — not because everyone teamed up to wipe the board clean like an Etch A Sketch, but because Reddit made it so users could only place white tiles at the end. Fortunately, everyone’s tile work isn’t gone forever. Now if you go to r/Place there is a interactive version of the canvas where you can scrub through the entire 80+ hour experience and zoom in as far as you want.

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