Although you can no longer place tiles on Reddit’s r/Place canvas, which was a revival of an April Fools’ Day experiment, the platform has given us the opportunity to relive the experience. The company has provided a treasure trove of data, including a summary post which goes over numbers and stats (things like which country placed the most tiles, or which subs talked the most about r/Place), along with a full CSV dataset for people to play with them if they want.
But, as someone who watched the chaos unfold by checking in every hour or so (and put up a few tiles of my own), the coolest thing Reddit posted is a three minute time lapse showing how users shaped the canvas over four days.
Watching it evolve is like looking into the heart of Reddit. You get to see communities fighting to take over the mosaics or collaborating to make their own works of art, which included everything from a Among us crewmate to a giant trans pride flag. And, you know, a terrifying face peering out of a void (which appears multiple times, of course).
The GIF finally ends with an explosion of white, not because everyone came together to clean up the board like an Etch A Sketch, but because Reddit made it so users could just place white tiles at the end. Fortunately, everyone’s mosaic work isn’t gone forever. If you go to ar/Place now, there is a interactive version of the canvas where you can go through the entire experience of more than 80 hours and get as close as you want.