Reddit is eliminating its current gold awards program and replacing it with a new golden upvote system that gives way to a Contributor Program, which allows some users, including moderators, to earn real money.
The new gold system gives users six purchase options to award gold to posts and comments, starting at $1.99 for one gold and up to $49 for 25 gold. If the recipient is eligible and verified for the Contributor Program, they can receive monthly payments based on the gold and karma they earn from eligible contributions.
The payout rates in the new Contributor Program will vary depending on whether the user is a standard or top contributor and the amount of gold and karma earned. Standard contributors will get 90 cents per golden upvote, and top contributors will get $1 per gold.
To purchase an award, users can long-press the upvote arrow on mobile or hover over it on a desktop and choose one of the six options to show appreciation for posts and comments. The gold awards given to posts will be a golden upvote instead of a golden coin or medal.
But not all golden upvotes will yield a cash payout. Users need to undergo a verification process and meet some eligibility guidelines, like being at least 18 years old, having a Reddit account that is at least 30 days old, living in an eligible country like the US (Reddit will expand the program over time), and having an account in good standing.
The program is also built for active contributors, so users must be active participants who engage with the community and don't have a history of rule-breaking behavior.
Contributors must have accumulated these attributes to be able to cash out: More than ten gold and 100-4,999 in karma as a standard contributor or over ten gold and above 5,000 in karma as a top contributor.
Considering these eligibility requirements may make you immediately think about what will happen to karma farming accounts. As accounts that engage in low-effort tactics to accumulate karma points, karma farming accounts often repost popular posts, spam comments, and make clickbait posts to get a high karma score.
With the new Contributor Program, it would appear that these accounts will be the ones to get some of the biggest payouts of all. Reddit spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt told The Verge that Reddit will perform audits and use internal safety signals, user reporting, and gold purchase limits to prevent abuse of the system.
Users can check if they're eligible by checking their profile menu and tapping on Contributor Program. If their account is eligible, the user will see an orange button that says, "Get verified to start earning."
Certain golden upvotes will be excluded from qualifying in the Contributor Program, like posts with sexual or violent content and in subreddits that are Not Safe for Work (NSFW), for trauma support, or quarantined.
Reddit killed the previous Coins system as of Sept. 12, and users won't be able to transfer their Reddit Coins into the new Contributor Program. Reddit Coins used to be part of Reddit Premium, which is a monthly subscription to ad-free Reddit browsing, creating custom avatars, and access to the Lounge subreddit.
Reddit Coins were given to each subscriber each month and could be used to buy awards to gild posts and comments. The Gold and Platinum awards would give the recipient a set amount of coins and either a week or a month of Reddit Premium.