Millions of people are browsing online communities using the official Reddit application. A new feature was recently added where people are seeing a watermark added to photos and images they download using this app. It has sparked a bit of outrage online but thankfully this “feature” can be disabled very quickly by simply diving into Settings.
It took many years before Reddit had its own official application but it’s here and it’s pretty good. It doesn’t have all of the little features that some of us have come to know from 3rd-party options, but it has done its job rather well. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a simple and basic native application for Reddit.
The thing is, sometimes the developers can launch a new feature that doesn’t sit well with the community.
Over the last month or so I’ve seen an increasingly growing number of people complaining about watermarks on Reddit images. I almost exclusively browse Reddit in a browser on the desktop so I didn’t notice the change. However, it’s become an irritating change to those who do actively use the application.
Why Does Reddit Add a Watermark to Downloaded Images?
This is a very good question and one that likely comes with a lot of different answers. As far as I can tell, this change happened in an app update that was pushed out about a month ago. We’ve seen other apps for websites like Reddit (iFunny, 9gag, etc.) that have had this image attribution watermark feature for a long time.
And it’s a feature that many people have hated as well.
Let’s face it though, there are a lot of places on Reddit where people are uploading original content. I know it’s a meme to say everything on Reddit is a repost, but that isn’t always the case. For many, it’s a place they can upload their new photographs of landscapes, digital comics, personal life hacks, and more.
I can understand the issue with not wanting an image attribution watermark added to a beautiful night skyline that I downloaded to use as a wallpaper. Then again, I can also understand the issue with content creators wanting credit added to an image if it’s just going to be shared on Facebook or other popular social networks.
So yea, this is an annoying change for some people but be happy that it’s very easy for us to stop this from happening any more.
How Can I Prevent the Reddit App from Adding a Watermark?
Other social media applications have refused to add a way to stop watermarks from being added to their images. As a website owner, I know how it feels to put in the effort creating images, spending money for storage and bandwidth costs, and then end up seeing it copied to be used on another website.
This is why watermarks are so prevalent online. This is especially true in the Android community where websites deserve credit for exclusive leaks for various products. And it’s this same type of credit that content creators deserve if you end up sharing their work on other social platforms.
But if you’re looking to use these images for personal reasons and don’t want the watermark to be added then we can stop it by following these steps. . .
- Open the Reddit application
- Swipe in from the left side of the screen (or just tap your profile image)
- Then tap the Settings option there at the bottom
- Look in the “Advanced” section
- And toggle the “Saved Image Attribution” feature off
Once you have toggled this feature off, you will no longer see image attribution data added to your downloaded images as a watermark. This is a quick and easy fix to something that has troubled thousands of Reddit users on a daily basis. Some figured this was just how the app would always handle things once it was updated.
I even saw a number of people suggesting other uninstall and then downgrade to an older version of the Reddit app to avoid the change.
This is always a nice option to have an all but it shouldn’t be necessary (and thankfully it isn’t). I can respect this change but would have also liked to see more attention brought to the change itself. Adding something in the changelog of an app update is one thing but how many people do you know reads all of them?
Probably as many people that actually read through all EULA agreements too :p
Still, at least it’s possible to disable within the Settings of the Reddit application.
What if the Toggle is Not in the Settings?
I am actually seeing a few comments throughout various Reddit threads where people are not seeing this toggle when they go into the Settings area. I suspect the addition of this new toggle is possible thanks to a server-side update though. I believe this is true as I saw one comment saying they had the toggle on one of their devices but not on another one.
So, what can you do if your Reddit application is applying a watermark to downloaded images but you don’t have the toggle?
This is where things get a bit tricky because there isn’t a way for the user to force an application to download server-side updates. We see developers like Google doing these staged server-side updates as a way to slowly roll out new changes to an application. Just like with OTA updates, it helps them slowly roll out new features and monitor logs throughout the process.
This way they know if a new change they made to an application is causing issues on the majority of devices. If it does, then the developer has the ability to stop the rollout and fix the issue before starting it over again. I am guessing this is what we are seeing here with this image attribution toggle within the Reddit app.
I can only offer vague suggestions here since (again) we can’t force these server-side updates.
- Reinstall the Application
- It’s possible that we can trigger the server-side app update by deleting the app contents and registering it as a freshly installed application.
- Downgrade the Application
- I mentioned earlier that some people are suggesting people downgrade to an older version of Reddit. I would head to APK Mirror and download a version of the Reddit app that was released before December 2019.
- Factory Reset the Phone
- Obviously this is an extreme solution to the issue but if you are willing to try everything then this has been known to trigger OTA update notifications (which can be done in staged rollouts like server-side updates) so it may work here as well.
How Can I Remove a Reddit Watermark?
The last thing I wanted to touch on today is for those who have already downloaded images using the Reddit application. If you have already downloaded the photo and it already has a watermark on it then you likely want to get rid of it. Watermarks tend to be difficult to remove but it shouldn’t be that bad here.
I say this because the watermark people are talking about is something that’s added to the bottom of the image. The watermarks that are tough to remove tend to be embedded in the middle of the image. Thankfully, that isn’t the case here and while it isn’t as easy as clicking a button, we can crop out the watermark.
You can do this with a variety of programs as well as online services as well.
As there are so many ways of going about this, I can’t detail all of them here. But if you can select and drag the area of an image you want to keep by using the mouse then you can use one of the many services available online. I suggest a quick Google search to find one that fits your needs.
But again, this can also be done with desktop software like Photoshop or GIMP.
I suggest doing a Google search for tutorials about how to crop an image if you’re unsure of how this is done using one of these programs, a piece of software you already have installed on your PC, or even one of the many image cropping apps that are available in the Play Store.