Replit's new Social Features update

Okay, I’ve really, really tried to be on board with all the new changes, but this might actually be the beginning of the end of Replit as we know it.

Removing commenting? Removing the cover page? (Because you can’t call it a ‘cover’ page anymore if it’s just code.)

When I first joined Replit, it was because I was new to programming and somehow came across a Repl Talk post about the Weekly challenges run by DynamicSquid and TheDrone7 at the time. I participated for a few weeks, really enjoyed it, and I stuck around. That’s community, people interacting and having fun, talking about programming, their ideas, their problems, their solutions. Ask already greatly reduced that by decentralising the community from Replit and by being generally more strict and focused on specifically programming or Replit help. The real Replit community still largely exists in comments, the Ask community is somewhat separate and removed.

The bottom line? Removing commenting will actually kill a very large portion of the remaining community on Replit, some will move to Ask, some will just give up on the community, probably many will move to other services.

I got asked to do an interview with some team members once. I remember being asked something along the lines of what’s your favourite ‘aspect’ of Replit, and I answered, the community; being able to share your cool creations with your friends and collaborate with others.

If output is removed, you force people to fork if they want to view your output. While that’s easy to do, that costs time and will be annoying. It will prevent you from showing your friends your cool creation by just sending them a link, because they’ll need to make an account before they can even fork it. For younger people, I think this was a selling point. Ultimately, this will become a major pain, and don’t underestimate how much adding a few clicks to a process can impact how many users actually complete a process.

Does this change make any sense? Actually, when I think about it, it kind of does. A decent portion of Replit’s community is younger people, people who will be much less likely to spend money on the platform. So in effect, this change could reduce the number of non-paying users (decreasing Replit’s costs, and therefore increasing there profits) and make Replit more of a professional environment (which seems to be a focus as of late, rather than bringing the next generation of developers I might add). I mean it sucks for the younger people, but its not really Replit’s problem, they’re winning. :man_shrugging:

Replit is trying to become more of a professional environment, and that’s fine, but it’s doing so at the cost of also being a more ‘casual’, jump straight into it and share what you’ve come up with environment, when it probably could have managed both at the very least better than it has.

Why would you even publish a Repl anymore? Why would you post an update? People can’t comment on it and give you their opinion. Publishing and updating? These are community features, but with no actual community they are pointless, they’ll probably be the next to go.

One thing that doesn’t make sense, if the community is killed by all of this, changing the tipping, even having it in the first place, is pointless. If there’s no community, no comments, there’s no one to see your Repl’s ‘cover’ page and tip it…

As has been said, this doesn’t really sound like an ‘update’ to social features, it sounds like they’re outright being removed.