Explained: How Does r/place Work?

r/place was a social experiment conducted by Reddit in April 2017 that captured the attention of millions of internet users worldwide. The subreddit featured an online canvas where users could place individual pixels that would collectively form a larger image over time. While seemingly simple in concept, r/place quickly became a complex and fascinating phenomenon that attracted thousands of participants who collaborated to create unique designs and messages. However, for those unfamiliar with how it worked, r/place could be overwhelming and difficult to understand. In this article, we’ll provide an in-depth explanation of how r/place really works and explore the impact it had on internet culture.

Introduction to r/place

Introduction to r/place

If you’re a Reddit user, chances are you’ve stumbled upon the subreddit r/place at some point. This unique online space was created as an experiment in collaborative art and has since become an internet phenomenon. But what exactly is r/place?

At its core, r/place is a social experiment that allows users to collaboratively create art on a digital canvas. The canvas is divided into small pixels, each of which can be colored by any user with access to the subreddit. To participate, users simply choose a color and then place their pixel on the canvas.

But r/place is more than just an online art project. It’s also a prime example of internet culture and the power of community-driven initiatives. In just 72 hours, over one million users from around the world came together to create a unique and constantly evolving work of art.

The success of r/place also speaks to the growing importance of subreddits in shaping online communities. Subreddits like r/place allow users to come together around shared interests and ideas, creating a sense of belonging and shared identity online.

Overall, r/place represents the best of what the internet can be: a platform for creativity, collaboration, and community-building. Whether you’re an artist, a tech enthusiast, or simply a lover of all things internet culture, r/place is definitely worth exploring.

The Basics of r/place

Canvas and Pixels

Canvas and Pixels

r/place is an online community-driven art project where users collaborate to create a massive digital canvas using pixels. This virtual canvas is made up of 1,000 by 1,000 pixels, with each user able to place a single pixel every five minutes. The canvas acts as a blank slate for users to create artwork, icons, and messages collaboratively. In this section, we will take a closer look at the canvas and pixels used in r/place.


The canvas in r/place is essentially a giant grid made up of 1,000 by 1,000 pixels. It serves as a platform for users from all over the world to create, share, and collaborate on different projects and ideas.

Each user can contribute to the canvas by placing a single pixel every five minutes anywhere on the canvas. This means that the canvas is constantly evolving and changing as more people add their own touches to it. With so many people contributing to the canvas, it quickly became an online sensation, attracting thousands of users daily.


Pixels are the building blocks of the canvas in r/place. Each pixel is a tiny square that measures just one unit of color on the canvas. Users can choose from a palette of sixteen colors and use these to create anything they want on the canvas.

Pixel art has been around as a form of digital art for decades. However, r/place is unique because it brings together people from all over the world to create something beautiful and meaningful collectively. By working together on the canvas, users have created everything from iconic logos, flags, and even memes.

To ensure that the canvas remains orderly and coherent, r/place has strict guidelines on what can and cannot be created on the canvas. Certain patterns or designs are prohibited, and moderators keep a close eye on the canvas to ensure compliance with these rules.

In conclusion, the canvas and pixels used in r/place allow users to collaborate and create something unique and meaningful together. It is a testament to the power of community-driven projects and how people from all over the world can come together for a common cause.



Timers are an essential component of r/place, the subreddit that gave people a chance to collaborate and create massive pixel art on a giant digital canvas. The timer mechanism is responsible for controlling how often users can make changes to the canvas.

Each user has a cooldown period of several minutes before they can place another pixel on the canvas. This timer was designed to prevent any single user or group from monopolizing the canvas and making it difficult for others to contribute.

The cooldown period also helps to ensure that high-quality pixel art is created on the canvas. If there were no timers in place, the canvas could quickly become overcrowded with random pixels, making it impossible to create anything meaningful.

However, despite the importance of timers, some users found ways to bypass them. Some individuals used bots to automate the placement of pixels, which allowed them to create intricate designs quickly. This behavior sparked controversy within the community, as it violated the spirit of collaboration that the subreddit was built upon.

To combat this issue, the moderators implemented new rules that prevented the use of bots on the canvas. They also added human verification measures such as Captchas to ensure that all pixel placements were made by real users.

In conclusion, timers are a crucial component of r/place, as they help to regulate the creation of pixel art on the canvas. While some users may have attempted to circumvent these timers, the moderators took swift action to ensure that every participant had an equal opportunity to contribute to this unique internet phenomenon.

How to Participate in r/place

Creating art on r/place is a fun and collaborative experience that can bring people together from all corners of the internet. To participate in this unique subreddit, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

First and foremost, r/place is all about collaboration. The canvas is constantly changing as users add their own pixels to the mix, so it’s important to work together to create something truly special. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or a complete novice, there’s a place for you on r/place.

To get started, simply head over to the subreddit and take a look at the canvas. You’ll notice that it’s divided into small squares, each representing a single pixel. Use the color picker tool to choose the hue you want and start adding your own pixels to the canvas.

But creating art on r/place isn’t just about adding your own pixels. It’s also about collaborating with others to create something truly unique. Take a look at what other users are doing on the canvas and see if there’s a way you can contribute. Maybe you can add a few details to someone else’s creation, or maybe you can team up with other users to create something entirely new.

The beauty of r/place is that it’s always evolving, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. And remember, collaboration is key! Work with other users to create something truly amazing and watch as your art becomes a part of internet history.

Community Rules and Guidelines



The r/place community has a set of rules in place to ensure that it remains a welcoming and collaborative space for all participants. While the subreddit is known for its creativity and spontaneity, these rules help to maintain order and fairness on the canvas.

One of the most important rules is that no offensive or inappropriate content is allowed on the canvas. This includes hate speech, explicit material, and anything else that could be deemed offensive or harmful. Any artwork that violates this rule will be promptly removed by the moderators.

Another key rule is that each user can only place one pixel every five minutes. This prevents any one individual from dominating the canvas and allows for equal participation amongst all users. It also encourages collaboration and teamwork, as users must work together to create larger pieces of artwork.

Additionally, the r/place rules prohibit any bots or automated processes from participating. This ensures that all artwork is created by human hands and promotes a sense of community and shared ownership over the canvas.

The moderators also play an important role in enforcing the rules and maintaining order on the canvas. They monitor the subreddit for any rule violations and have the authority to remove offending artwork and ban users who repeatedly break the rules.

Overall, the r/place rules serve as a necessary framework for the community to thrive and continue creating beautiful and collaborative artwork on the canvas. By following these rules, users can ensure that the subreddit remains a safe and inclusive space for all.



Moderation is an essential aspect of r/place, and without it, the subreddit would not have functioned as well as it did. The moderators were responsible for ensuring that the canvas remained a fun and collaborative space where users could create art without being interrupted by trolls or individuals who wanted to disrupt the community.

The moderation team consisted of dedicated volunteers who spent hours monitoring the subreddit, enforcing the rules, and responding to user queries. They played a crucial role in maintaining order and keeping the community united.

One of the most significant challenges the moderators faced was dealing with people who tried to exploit the system. For example, some users created bots that could automatically generate pixel art, which led to concerns about fairness and the authenticity of the art. The moderators had to identify these bots and remove them to ensure that everyone was following the rules.

To prevent issues like these from arising, the moderators had set up specific guidelines for participation on r/place. These guidelines outlined what was and was not acceptable on the canvas, as well as how users could get involved in the community. They also provided information on how to report any rule violations, which helped the moderators to respond quickly and efficiently to such reports.

Overall, the moderators played a vital role in making r/place a successful and enjoyable community. Through their efforts, they helped to maintain order, promote collaboration, and foster a sense of belonging among the members. Without them, the subreddit would not have been the same, and its legacy may not have been as impactful as it is today.


Collaboration is at the heart of r/place, and it’s what makes this subreddit so unique. The canvas is a shared space, and every user can contribute to it by placing a pixel. However, this also means that your pixel is not the only one on the canvas, and other users may have different ideas about what to do with the space.

To make the most of r/place, you need to collaborate with others. This can mean working together on a larger project or simply respecting the work of others when placing your own pixels. Here are some tips for successful collaboration on r/place:

  • Start small: If you’re new to r/place, it’s a good idea to start small. Try collaborating with just one or two other users on a simple design. This will help you get a feel for how the community works and build relationships with other users.

  • Communicate: Communication is key to successful collaboration on r/place. Use the subreddit’s chat feature to discuss your ideas with other users and get feedback on your designs. Be respectful of other users’ opinions and be willing to compromise if necessary.

  • Join a group: There are many groups on r/place dedicated to specific projects or designs. Joining a group can be a great way to collaborate with other users who share your interests and goals. You can find these groups in the subreddit’s sidebar or by searching for keywords related to your project.

  • Respect other users’ work: When placing your pixels on the canvas, be mindful of the work of others. Don’t overwrite someone else’s design without their permission, and be willing to work around other users’ designs if necessary.

Overall, collaboration is essential to making the most of r/place. By working together with other users, you can create amazing designs and contribute to the unique culture of this subreddit. So don’t be afraid to reach out to other users, join a group, and start collaborating today!

Impact and Legacy of r/place

Internet Phenomenon

Internet Phenomenon

The rise of the internet has brought about countless cultural phenomena that have captured the attention of people around the world. These internet phenomena, or memes, are cultural symbols or ideas that spread rapidly through social media, email, and other online platforms.

One such example is r/place, a subreddit where users collaborated to create a massive canvas of pixels. The project was an internet phenomenon, with thousands of people contributing to create a unique and vibrant artwork that was constantly changing over time.

Another famous internet phenomenon is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge involved people pouring buckets of ice water on themselves to raise awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The challenge went viral and raised over $115 million for ALS research.

Internet phenomena can take many forms, from silly memes to serious social movements. One common factor is their ability to capture the attention of millions of people across the globe and generate conversations and engagement in ways that traditional media cannot.

In conclusion, the internet has given birth to countless cultural phenomena that continue to entertain, inspire, and impact our lives in various ways. Internet phenomena like r/place and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge show how the digital age has transformed the way we communicate, connect, and participate in society.



Memes are an integral part of internet culture, and r/place was no exception. The subreddit quickly became a breeding ground for memes, with users creating pixel art inspired by popular internet jokes and memes.

One of the most popular memes on r/place was the “Dat Boi” meme, which originated on Tumblr in 2015. The image of a frog on a unicycle became a viral sensation, and soon appeared on r/place as a pixel art creation.

Another popular meme on r/place was the “Pepe the Frog” meme. While controversial due to its association with alt-right groups, Pepe had become a staple of internet culture by the time r/place was launched. Users on r/place created numerous pixel art versions of Pepe, including one that appeared to be smoking a joint.

The prevalence of memes on r/place is not surprising given that the subreddit was a collaborative effort by users from around the world. Memes have always been a way for people to connect and share common experiences, and r/place was a perfect platform for doing just that.

Furthermore, the popularity of memes on r/place helped to spread awareness of the subreddit beyond the Reddit community. Images of the intricate pixel art creations made their way onto social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, further cementing r/place’s place in internet history.

Overall, memes played a significant role in the success of r/place. They were a reflection of the collaborative and creative spirit that the subreddit embodied, and they helped to make it a truly unique and memorable experience for all who participated.
In conclusion, r/place is a unique and fascinating subreddit that showcases the power of collaboration on an unprecedented scale. It allows users from all over the world to come together and create something truly remarkable. Through a combination of timers, pixels, and community guidelines, r/place has become an internet phenomenon with a legacy that will continue to be felt for years to come.

Whether you are an artist, a fan of internet culture, or simply someone who enjoys exploring new online communities, r/place is definitely worth checking out. So why not dive in and see what all the fuss is about? Who knows, you might just find yourself swept up in the excitement and creativity of this amazing subreddit.

At its core, r/place is a testament to the power of human collaboration and the boundless potential of the internet to bring people together in new and unexpected ways. As we continue to explore and push the limits of what is possible online, we can only imagine what other incredible creations might emerge from platforms like r/place in the future.

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