Reddit is “sunsetting” its annual Secret Santa gift exchange and Reddit Gifts, with this year’s being the last.
The service allowed verified Reddit users to send a £20 gift to another randomly selected user.
Celebrities such as SnoopDogg and Bill Gates participated in the secret seasonal exchange.
Users have reacted angrily to the decision, which Reddit says is needed to focus on “user experience”.
One called it a “war on Christmas”. Another popular post described the company’s announcement as: “Translation – we weren’t making enough money off this to be worth our time & effort”.
Dan McComas, who created Secret Santa and Reddit Gifts in 2009 is now part of one effort to create a new exchange.
The subreddit “newsecretsanta” has in excess of 10,000 members.
A parallel effort to create an alternative Reddit Gifts has also gained widespread support, and has already registered a new domain.
Reddit said it did not take the decision lightly, but wanted to “put more focus on enhancing the user experience on Reddit” – this included improving moderator tools and improving accessibility.
Ahead of the final exchange of 2021, the company said it had disabled the creation of new Reddit Gifts accounts.
It also said it would “turn off the ability to buy Elves”, which is in effect a premium membership for Reddit Gifts.