What is Reddit? A Quick Look at the Popular Online Community | Digital Trends (2023)

If you spend a lot of time online, chances are you’ve heard of Reddit. The site bills itself as the “front page of the internet,” and that’s not an empty boast: As of this writing, Reddit is the seventh most popular site in the U.S., according to Alexa, and the 19th worldwide. So, what exactly is Reddit? Essentially, it’s a massive collection of forums where people can share news and content or comment on other people’s posts. Here’s everything you need to know.

Contents

  • The jargon and design of Reddit
  • Signing up

Further reading

  • Best subreddits
  • Most popular YouTube videos

The jargon and design of Reddit

Reddit is broken up into more than a million communities known as “subreddits,” each of which covers a different topic. The name of a subreddit begins with “r/,” which is part of the URL that Reddit uses. For example, r/nba is a subreddit where people talk about the National Basketball Association, while r/boardgames is a subreddit for people to discuss board games. Those are straightforward subreddits, but they can get weird, such as r/birdswitharms, a subreddit devoted to pictures of birds…with arms.

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If you’re just looking at Reddit for the first time, you may be a bit confused by what you are seeing, so here’s a quick rundown. The homepage (or “front page”) shows you various posts that are currently trending on the site, pulled from a variety of subreddits. You can sort these posts by clicking one of the icons on the ribbon menu located underneath the Create Post text box (if you’re logged in with a Reddit account) or under a smaller header called Popular Posts, if you’re not logged in. These icons will sort the posts by Best, Hot, New, Top, or Rising if you’re logged in. Or it will sort them by your chosen location(s) (instead of Best) along with Hot, New, Top, or Rising, if you’re not logged in.

What is Reddit? A Quick Look at the Popular Online Community | Digital Trends (1)

There is a search bar near the top that you can use to find posts and subreddits related to a particular term. A search for “World Cup” for example, turns up some popular posts about the World Cup and relevant subreddits such as r/worldcup and r/sports.

What is Reddit? A Quick Look at the Popular Online Community | Digital Trends (2)

You can only create a subreddit for a topic if you meet specific criteria. Namely, you have to have a Reddit account, your account must be at least 30 days old, and your account must be relatively active and have earned a minimum number of “karma” points as a result of that activity. The exact required number of karma points isn’t necessarily high, but the number is known only to Reddit.

Subreddits are managed by moderators (“mods,” for short), volunteers who can edit the appearance of a particular subreddit, dictate what types of content are allowed in the sub, and even remove posts or content or ban users from the subreddit. Reddit as a whole is governed by the admins, employees of Reddit who have vast powers across the site, including the ability to strip moderators of their privileges, and even ban entire subreddits from the site.

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Next to a post, you’ll likely see up and down arrows, as well as a number. Users click the arrows to upvote or downvote posts, increasing or decreasing their visibility, and the number reflects the current sum of upvotes and downvotes. Reddit users can also upvote and downvote other users’ comments, and every account has a karma number tied to it, which indicates how much karma their comments have received in total. Karma doesn’t get you hip Reddit swag or anything like that, but it does help to boost your standing in the Reddit community. Be proud of your karma!

Like most online communities, Reddit has its own language. Redditors tend totalk in abbreviations such as OP, TIL, IAmA, and AMA. OP just refers to the “original poster” in a thread, while TIL means “today I learned” and is one of the most common abbreviations you’ll see. Many posts are simple TIL observations and realizations. Both IAmA and AMA refer to what might very well be Reddit’s most popular feature: The Ask Me Anything thread. In an AMA, a well-known person such as Barack Obama or Nick Offerman, or someone who’s had a unique life experience (or a harrowing one, such as the woman who was mauled by a bear, fought it off, and drove four miles down a mountain with her face hanging off), submits themself to the inquisitive minds of Reddit. The resulting threads are some of the most insightful, humorous, and fascinating interviews you’ll ever read.

Hey, everyone: I'll be taking your questions online today. Ask yours here: http://t.co/pcwZHo3O -bo

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 29, 2012

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Users can give awards to other users to recognize and highlight posts the giver really enjoyed. Giving an award costs Reddit Coins, which you can buy as a way of supporting the community.

Another way to support the community is by purchasingReddit Premium, the site’s membership program. For $6 a month, Premium users don’t see ads and it gives you access to r/lounge, a super-secret subreddit where the brightest minds on Reddit assemble to engage in witty banter (or something), along with other benefits. Premium membership also comes with a regular supply of Coins to spend on Awards. You don’t need to buy Reddit Premium to have fun on Reddit, but it’s a way to support the site, get some perks, and be invested in the community.

Just remember, Reddit is a group of people meeting on the internet, sharing stuff, and talking to one another. That’s it. Act as you would if you were hanging out with old friends or new ones. Be mindful of your language and where you post (some subreddits are unfriendly to off-topic posts). Reddit has become a popular hub for many topics, both good, bad, and niche. And the community has also taken steps to make the site more inclusive by eliminating explicit content from its public homepage.

Signing up

If Reddit sounds like your kind of place, you can sign up by clicking on the blue Sign Up button in the top right corner of the main Reddit page. Then, follow the on-screen prompts to create an account. Reddit doesn’t limit you to just one account, either. You can set up multiple usernames and choose which one to log in with, depending on which subreddits you plan to participate in. Some subs encourage personally revealing posts, for example, and you may find it useful to have one persona there and another one in a sports subreddit. Some people create throwaway accounts when asking for relationship or professional advice, among other topics.

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After signing in, Reddit will offer you recommendations on finding popular boards that may match your interests. If you currently have a particular community in mind that you want to join, go ahead and enter its name in the search field. Alternatively, you can hunt for applicable words and investigate that way.

When you encounter a subreddit you want to revisit, you have the opportunity to subscribe to it. Your homepage will show posts from your subscribed subreddits. You can look at all your subscriptions in the navigation bar’s drop-down menu; this lets you switch between communities easily. You can also link comparable subreddits into customized feeds—for instance, you may organize r/nba, r/nbadiscussion, and other team subreddits into a basketball multireddit. If you want to do this, just head to the proper subreddit and click the Three Dots symbol next to About Community. From here, you’ll see a menu pop-up where you will need to select Add to Custom Feed. After this, follow the prompts to add the subreddit to an existing feed or make a brand new one. You can even decide to make your multireddit public so other Redditors can become a subscriber.

You can join as many subreddits as you want, and the ample amount of topics assures your continued interest. Maybe Reddit’s most engaging feature is that you can be as incognito or otherwise socially low-key as you desire. With all these cool features, it’s not surprising that it interests so many subscribers.

Check out our guide tothe best subreddits to get you started.

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FAQs

What is Reddit mainly for? ›

Reddit is a social news website and forum where content is socially curated and promoted by site members through voting. The site name is a play on the words "I read it." Reddit member registration is free, and it is required to use the website's basic features.

Why is Reddit so popular? ›

Reddit is a social news site . Despite of a basic interface lots of people are visiting this site on a daily basis. The reason for users coming back to Reddit is the guaranteed high quality content. The users on Reddit are very active and they post something new and interesting.

Is Reddit the biggest online community? ›

Reddit is considered one of the world's leading news and social sites, with over 5.5 billion pages served to over 100 million unique visitors spanning 186 countries. It's also known as one of the most engaged, vocal and opinionated communities on the web. It's given birth to international movements.

What is Reddit and is it safe? ›

Reddit is a social news site where users create and share content. Some of this content is only suitable for those 18+ and is marked as NSFW (not safe for work).

What are good things about Reddit? ›

Here are just a few:
  • Research and Decision Making: Let's say you need to make an important decision. ...
  • Learning Something New: As we just mentioned, you can learn something brand new on Reddit. ...
  • Join a Community of People Like Yourself: ...
  • Fake News Proof: ...
  • AMA for Brand and Personal Interviews:
17 Aug 2020

What type of social media is Reddit? ›

Reddit is a social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website similar to a forum. Since forums are communities of people sharing ideas and works as a social network aggregation then the answer to the question Is Reddit Social Media? is yes.

Why Reddit is the best social media? ›

Unlike many of its ad-driven competitors, Reddit is a platform that prioritizes the feedback of its users when it comes to what it shows first. With Reddit's unique upvote and downvote system, it's able to identify not just what people like, but also what they don't like, in a timely and accurate manner.

Who Uses Reddit the most? ›

Reddit is the most popular among users aged 18 to 29. Over one in three US adults in this age range uses Reddit. There are currently more than 2.8 million subreddits. Reddit boasts more than 130,000 active communities.

Is Reddit a good website? ›

Reddit has a consumer rating of 1.91 stars from 425 reviews indicating that most customers are generally dissatisfied with their purchases. Consumers complaining about Reddit most frequently mention free speech, social media and front page problems. Reddit ranks 232nd among Social Network sites.

What made Reddit successful? ›

In case of Reddit, it was user and content. If there were no users initially, no one would post on Reddit. If no one would post on Reddit(no content), no new users would sign-up. Even one of Reddit's co founder admitted to the fact that their initial traction was due to the fake profiles they created to get started.

What is the best way to use Reddit? ›

Getting The Most Out Of Reddit: 20 Tips, Tricks And Tools
  1. Understand The Subreddit. ...
  2. Search For A Subreddit. ...
  3. Create An Account And Subscribe. ...
  4. Learn How To Style Your Comment. ...
  5. Follow Some People. ...
  6. Find New Stuff With The Random Button. ...
  7. Sort The Subreddit Submission. ...
  8. Combine Subreddits Into A Multireddit.
27 Jun 2020

Where is Reddit used the most? ›

San Francisco, California, U.S. As of March 2022, Reddit ranks as the 9th-most-visited website in the world and 6th most-visited website in the U.S., according to Semrush. About 42–49.3% of its user base comes from the United States, followed by the United Kingdom at 7.9–8.2% and Canada at 5.2–7.8%.

Is Reddit good for privacy? ›

Is Reddit safe for privacy? Moderately. Like other social platforms, Reddit collects information about you and then uses that data according to their Terms of Service (which we discuss in detail in this article on Reddit's privacy settings).

Is Reddit ok for 12 year olds? ›

Reddit itself has a minimum age requirement of 13, but this is not strictly enforced. For kids 13 or older, it's essential to talk to them about how to use Reddit safely and ensure they're only viewing age-appropriate content.

Is adult content on Reddit safe? ›

Reddit has an adult filter to block NSFW content, but nothing is perfect online. These settings can only do so much to protect kids and teens as they use Reddit's platform. They may not work to block inappropriate messages, which can lead to a child or teen seeing something they shouldn't.

Is Reddit good for learning? ›

It is a great place to be if you are into making ideas a reality. Reddit is a great place to learn, share and make friends. With the world getting more tight-knit than ever before, communities like these bring people together and enables them to create something new.

Is Reddit useful for students? ›

Reddit is a popular social media platform among students where they can have more meaningful conversations than just creating communities and gossiping.

What is the most popular post on Reddit? ›

The “Times Square Right now” post on Reddit is the most upvoted post. It became such a sensation in 2021 and continues to do the same in 2022 too.

What is the most popular group on Reddit? ›

The 31 biggest subreddits (2022 update)
RankSubreddit name# of subscribers
1/r/announcements153,972,327
2/r/funny40,442,903
3/r/AskReddit35,787,366
4/r/gaming32,799,784
27 more rows
4 May 2022

What are the most popular topics on Reddit? ›

The Most Popular Reddit Discussion Themes of 2021
  • Cryptocurrency.
  • Gaming.
  • Weddings.
  • Health and Fitness.
  • Food and Drink.
  • Movies and Television.
8 Dec 2021

Why is Reddit so addictive? ›

The real reason is that Reddit is constantly new (Especially if you browse the new section). So you can always find something to read. If you get bored of the links, then there is always new comments. Furthermore, you can filter out the subreddits you aren't interested in, so all of the content are relevant.

What age group uses Reddit the most? ›

According to a survey of U.S. adults conducted at the beginning of 2021, 36 percent of respondents who indicated using Reddit were aged between 18 and 29 years old.
...
Percentage of U.S. adults who use Reddit as of February 2021, by age group.
CharacteristicReach
30-4922%
50-6410%
65+3%
1 more row
2 Aug 2022

Why is Reddit better than Instagram? ›

Reddit and Instagram have different social media purposes. Reddit is more focused on social interaction where you can ask about certain topics, share ideas and expertise and run communities. Instagram, on the other hand, is more on social connection through images, videos and hashtags.

What age are Reddit users? ›

When it comes to Reddit demographics, roughly 70% of American users are white, 12% are Hispanic, and 7% are black. People between the age of 18 and 29 make up Reddit's largest user base (64%). The second biggest age group is 30 to 49 (29%). Teenagers (age 13 and 14) are not very active on Reddit.

Is Reddit used for dating? ›

The Personals

This is the meat and potatoes of reddit online dating. R4R stands for Redditor for Redditor. These subreddits are comprised of personal ads for dating, hooking up, or just finding a friend. Just like the rest of reddit, every listing and comment is free, so no worries there.

Is Reddit becoming more popular? ›

As of June 2021, Reddit ranked among the most popular mobile social apps in the United States with almost 48 million monthly active users.

Is Reddit a good app to use? ›

The official Reddit app is a simple, easy-to-use option and covers the basics. This is the best choice for Android users concerned about privacy and security, as you don't need to allow third-party access to your Reddit account.

What is better than Reddit? ›

  • Hive Blog. The first on our list of the 10 best alternatives to Reddit in 2022 is Hive. ...
  • Quora. We are sure Quora needs no introduction. ...
  • Imgur. Imgur is an online image-sharing and hosting platform that has focus on social gossip. ...
  • Slashdot. ...
  • 9GAG. ...
  • Mashable. ...
  • Product Hunt. ...
  • Steemit.
30 Jun 2022

Is Reddit the most used website? ›

With more than 430 million monthly active users and over 100,000 active communities, it's ranked among the most popular social networks worldwide. Read on to find all of the latest Reddit statistics in 2021.
...
Reddit monthly active users.
YearNumber of monthly active users (MAUs)
2019430 million
6 more rows
12 Oct 2021

What is the difference between Facebook and Reddit? ›

Reddit and Facebook are both social media platforms. They both provide the ability to share content and discuss it with other users. The main differences are in the 1) organization of content, and 2) the community structure.

What is Reddit for beginners? ›

What Exactly Is Reddit? Reddit is a social media platform, that allows any individual to create and manage their own community, which Reddit calls a sub-reddit. The entire platform is a social aggregation site, where individuals curate content they either find around the web or create themselves.

How does a Reddit work? ›

It is a social platform where users submit posts that other users 'upvote' or 'downvote' based on if they like it. If a post gets lots of upvotes it moves up the Reddit rankings so that more people can see it. If it gets downvotes it quickly falls and disappears from most people's view.

How do you use Reddit step by step? ›

Create a post.
  1. Go to the home page.
  2. Click on Submit a new link or Submit a new text post, depending on the content of your post.
  3. Enter your title, insert the content of the post and select a place (subreddit) to post to.
  4. Check the "I'm not a robot" box.
  5. Click Submit and you're finished.

Does Reddit sell your data? ›

This means that Reddit does not share your individual account browsing habits with advertisers. Reddit cannot see advertisers' cookies and advertisers will not see Reddit cookies. 18 We use analytics partners (such as Google Analytics ) to help analyze usage and traffic for our Services.

Do people still use Reddit? ›

There are now over 52M active users on Reddit. Reddit attracts more than 430M users monthly. Reddit's ad revenue grew by 150% from 2020 to 2021. There are over 100K active Reddit communities.

How much does Reddit cost? ›

What You Get With Reddit Premium. So what does that $5.99 per month buy, exactly? And are the extra features really worth the money? Here are the perks you get with a Reddit Premium membership.

Does Reddit track what you look at? ›

While you're Anonymous Browsing, Reddit won't: Save your browsing or search history to your Reddit account. Use your Reddit activity to personalize your recommendations. Use your Reddit activity to send you personalized notifications.

Does Reddit keep data of deleted accounts? ›

We [Reddit] may also retain certain information about you as required by law or for legitimate business purposes after you delete your account. That essentially means the platform may store your data, even the posts and comments you've deleted.

Does Reddit track your info? ›

If you make any purchases on Reddit, we collect billing information such as your name, address, payment type, and purchase details.

Is Squidgame ok for a 12 year old? ›

On Netflix, the show has a rating of TV-MA, meaning it may not be suitable for teenagers under 17.

What are appropriate rules for a 13 year old? ›

What are some good house rules for teenagers?
  • You will have a curfew. ...
  • You will limit your screen/social media time. ...
  • Everyone at home has chores. ...
  • Abide by the Golden Rule. ...
  • Remember not to take trust for granted.
5 Jun 2022

What's not allowed on Reddit? ›

Instigating harassment, for example by revealing someone's personal or confidential information, is not allowed. Never post or threaten to post intimate or sexually-explicit media of someone without their consent. Do not post or encourage the posting of sexual or suggestive content involving minors.

What are some disturbing Subreddits? ›

11 Creepy Subreddits to Keep You Up at Night
  • 2 / 13. List slides. r/HumanoidEncounters. ...
  • 3 / 13. List slides. r/OldSchoolCreepy. ...
  • 4 / 13. List slides. r/LetsNotMeet. ...
  • 5 / 13. List slides. r/UnresolvedMysteries. ...
  • 6 / 13. List slides. r/ThreeKings. ...
  • 7 / 13. List slides. r/EvilBuildings. ...
  • 8 / 13. List slides. r/TheTruthIsHere. ...
  • 9 / 13. List slides.
26 Jun 2022

How do I see inappropriate content on Reddit? ›

Things You Should Know

On an iPhone, go to Settings > Reddit and tap the switch next to "Show NSFW Content (18+)." On a computer, click your profile picture, go to User Settings > Feed Settings and enable "Adult content."

Who are the main users of Reddit? ›

When it comes to Reddit demographics, roughly 70% of American users are white, 12% are Hispanic, and 7% are black. People between the age of 18 and 29 make up Reddit's largest user base (64%). The second biggest age group is 30 to 49 (29%).

What is the most searched thing on Reddit? ›

Cryptocurrency was hands down the most popular theme on Reddit in 2021, with 6.6 million mentions of the word across the website between January and November.

Is Reddit appropriate for 14 year olds? ›

Reddit is designed for adult users, not kids. It's not a safe place for kids or younger teens because of risks including predators, misinformation, dangerous online challenges, and data leaks.

Can you find out who a person is on Reddit? ›

Because unlike some sites, Reddit doesn't have any sort of directory where you can find a specific user you're looking for. Instead, you'll need to search for their exact username, or input it into a URL.

What is a Reddit user called? ›

By the way, Reddit users call themselves "redditors."

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