What Is Reddit? A Definitive Guide (How To Use It)

by | 27/09/2019 8:03 am
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I’ve been a user of Reddit for a long time now. I love the platform, the way its setup, and the fact you can find a subreddit for just about anything. In 2019, one of the things that regularly blows my mind is that a lot of people I meet or get to know have never heard of Reddit. How? Reddit is basically the best thing on the internet.

Whatever you’re interested in – be it Formula One, Magick, Taylor Swift, Model Train Building, Running, Satanism, or Crafting, as well as an entire universe of NSFW content – there will be a dedicated and lively subreddit packed with nutters just like you. And I really do mean it: there is literally a subreddit for EVERYTHING – even the nichest of niches.

You know how there’s basically a YouTube video for everything? Well, it works the same on Reddit with Subreddits.

Reddit breaks news before most major news sites too. Most major news publications have dedicated teams whose sole job is trawling Reddit for interesting stories and events. For news junkies, Reddit is a goldmine. The front-page alone is basically tomorrow’s headlines published a day early. Once you’re fully-versed in Reddit’s delights, you will A) never watch the news again, B) rarely visit actual news sites, and C) develop a host of new hobbies and interests. 

What is Reddit?

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Reddit calls itself the front page of the internet. Designed as a way for people to share information, Reddit has grown dramatically over the years.

It has tens of millions of users, hundreds of thousands of subreddits, and it is always growing. Often, stories break on Reddit before they hit the major news networks and channels. For me, this is one of Reddit’s #1 benefits. Like Twitter, it is an almost real-time snap-shot of all the major events currently shaping the world.

And it doesn’t matter what you’re interested in, either. There will be a subreddit just for you, packed full of people that share content and things you will probably want to know about. Got a leaky pipe in your cellar? Can’t afford a plumber? Get yourself onto the plumbing subreddit and ask for some advice. Within the hour, you’ll be swimming in information and advice from, potentially, hundreds of experienced people.

Reddit isn’t just a link-dumping site. Mostly it’s about the discussion. Someone posts a link, say, First Impressions of New iPhone 11 Camera, and then members of the subreddit basically dive in and ask questions.

Arguments are common, especially in places like Politics, but that’s kind of to be expected – people love arguing about politics. Mostly, though, Reddit is packed with nice folk. I’ve been using it daily since about 2016 and I’ve never once encountered anybody that I would call a douchebag.

How Reddit Works

Reddit might look pretty complicated when you first open it up. But it is actually really simple. Reddit is available as an app on iPhone and Android, or you can access it via your PC/Mac’s browser.

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People find content – news articles, videos, original posts – and share them inside subreddits. These “posts” are then upvoted or downvoted by other Reddit users. If a post gets thousands of upvotes, it hits the Reddit homepage and this causes what is known as The Reddit Effect – more on this in a bit.

What Are Subreddits?

As I mentioned, Reddit is organized around subreddits, which are basically interest-based forums contained within the main Reddit site. Each subreddit has a team of moderators attached to it, and these guys oversee the subreddit and ensure everything is kosher. There is literally a subreddit for everything – just go to Reddit and type in some of your interests. You’ll find a multitude of active subreddits dedicated to it.

The 12 Biggest Subreddits on Reddit

What are the biggest Subreddits on Reddit? As of right now, the following 12 subreddits are the biggest subreddit communities on Reddit.

  • funny — 19,895,474 subscribers
  • AskReddit — 19,510,110
  • todayilearned — 18,981,496
  • worldnews — 18,977,231
  • Science — 18,932,710
  • pics — 18,886,430
  • gaming — 18,413,642
  • IAmA — 18,097,375
  • videos — 17,973,194
  • movies — 17,824,982
  • aww — 17,433,245
  • Music — 17,051,188

How Big is Reddit?

Reddit is MASSIVE.

In 2015, Reddit generated 82.54 BILLION page-views.

Infographic: The Explosive Growth of Reddit's Community | Statista
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You will find more infographics at Statista

As of February 2018, Reddit had 542 million monthly visitors (234 million unique users). 57.4% of its users come from the US, followed by the UK at 7.5% and Canada at 6.3%.

Basically, it’s a big deal.

The Reddit Effect – Reddit Can Kill Your Blog (In Seconds)

The Reddit Effect is a term created to describe how smaller websites’ servers are crushed by large influxes of traffic from Reddit.

Example: say you run a small blog that is hosted on a basic, cheap server.

You write a post and get onto the front page of Reddit.

Then, about 10 million people try to view it…

Your server collapses and your site goes offline.

This is the Reddit Effect.

Reddit AMAs – They’re So Cool Even Obama Did One… 

One of the coolest things about Reddit is its AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions.

Barack Obama has done one, and so too has a bunch of other important leaders, celebrities, musicians and film directors.

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How it works is simple: AMAs take place in a subreddit, and users can ask the person doing an AMA anything they want.

These AMAs are hugely popular and have generated plenty of breaking news over the years.

Why I Use Reddit

Simple: I love information. And I like finding out new things, and for this Reddit is basically unbeatable. If you’re developing an interest in something new, say, fitness or eating healthier, than you’ll be able to find a TON of information from people who are already doing it.

You can chat with them, ask questions, post your progress, findings, or your own, personal insights. I’ve joined hundreds of subreddits over the years, and to-date I haven’t had any negative experiences.

As long as you stick to the subreddit rules, most people on Reddit are friendly and welcoming. Just make sure you read the subreddit rules before you start posting. As I’ve noted throughout this post, Reddit is basically where reality gets logged. Millions of users post millions of links every day. You can’t see or consume it all. But you can carve out a nice little niche for yourself that covers all your main interests.

For instance, I am mad about F1. And since about 2016, I’ve been getting 100% of my F1 information via Reddit. I read posts, I talk to fellow F1 fans and upvote anything that’s useful. The same goes for the running subreddit. It’s great. And since I’ve started running, next to YouTube, it has become one of my most valuable resources for information.

If you’re not using Reddit, stop what you’re doing now, and sign-up for an account. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Is it better than Facebook and Instagram? Let me put it this way: Reddit is like having drinks with Ernest Hemingway. Facebook and Instagram are more like hanging out with your emo teenager that thinks they know everything despite having never left the state.

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