What is Reddit

Anyone who is following the news will certainly stumble upon numerous references to Reddit – a real giant that is rapidly gaining popularity from year to year. In this article, I want to specify the main points about one of the most popular Q&A platforms around the web.

What is Reddit

As I have already mentioned before, Reddit is a social news website. Initially, it was created to find and share news, articles, and simply interesting content. Over time, the platform has grown, destroying the popular Digg, and now it is a platform for conversations, a forum, imageboard and so on. Links and their discussions remain an important part of the platform. Increasingly, people come here to chat, escaping from boring forums and other websites.

New website version interface. Featured feed.


Due to the huge website popularity, many visitors use it to attract attention to a particular issue, or, more often, to the website. Many websites have encountered the so-called Slashdot effect when a single link to Reddit (sometimes even just in the comments) leads to the website servers’ overload due to the high traffic.


Some time ago, Reddit was just a strange alternative to popular social networks where anonymity was appreciated, and where people were contacted by nicknames. However, now it has turned into a standard platform for communication. AMA (Ask Me Anything) is constantly held on the platform: when a celebrity answers the questions in the comments for an hour. This only emphasizes the website influence and its role in the modern world.


The interface of the old version of the site. On the left you can see the rating of the record, on the top – sorting by new, gaining popularity, controversial and the best.


Registration on the website takes a few minutes. No personal information is required, no telephone number. In this sense, the site continues to follow the legends of the old Internet, and this is very good.


Reddit is divided into groups called subreddits. The structure is always the same: if you enter the platform through the application, then everything will look exactly the same.



At the moment, Reddit is experiencing a pretty difficult period in its history – the transition to a new design. We all know how painful this process is for websites with a huge audience. Reddit is no exception – it has been in the process of updating for a long time, but the redesign did not positively surprised users. The new version, which is currently in beta status and is not required, take the portal’s archaic charm and adds more modern elements. Beginners tend to use the new version as it is much more logical. Experienced users point out many issues in the new version. For example, a redesign significantly reduces the ability to customize subreddits, making them more unified.


For this reason, it is not that easy to provide you with a detailed description of how the website operates.

Reddit structure – how everything works?

The website is divided into subreddits – interest groups or just communities united by an idea. Initially, there should have been one main reddit, but the idea was not successful. Although the site still has reddits by default and all newcomers have been subscribed to them automatically. Subreddit /r/popular includes the most important messages of all groups, excluding some controversial subreddits, for example, dedicated to Donald Trump. /r/all is the website popularity feed without any filter. The user is free to choose the subreddits of interest (it seems to be similar to YouTube and its channels). In general, everything is very simple, although unusual.

Reddit search

At first glance, any website like Reddit looks like a collection of content that is impossible to figure out. Actually, it is possible, but Reddit will hardly help you with this. Searching for required content and subreddits is not very easy. Experienced users have long been reporting the search system on the platform. Therefore, even if a search is possible, I recommend using a good search engine, like Google, which indexes a site very quickly. All other search engines, including DuckDuckGo, which is gaining momentum, have some difficulty finding fresh records.

Creating a post

Many Reddit users have been reading content for years, but not creating their own one. However, as an active platform user, you will definitely want to create your own post. To do this, there is the opportunity to add your own message, share a link or photo in each subreddit.


Unlike forums, on Reddit, the relevance of a post is marked by its rating. It stands for a voting system, similar to YouTube (you can either like or dislike). This is called the upvoting and downvoting system. If your post has a good upwind ratio, the system considers it worthy of attention. This way, a message from the “new” section goes to the “hot” and then to the “best”. If you post something really interesting or original, depending on the number of subreddit subscribers, it can even be posted on the main platform page. In case it happened, you are guaranteed to receive much karma and high traffic.


I will say right away: it is impossible to find a formula that would guarantee you a deep-dyed hit. In order to make it, it requires an ideal combination of circumstances: the relevance of the message, the right time, urgency, and so on. Of course, there are various tricks that can only be learned over time. Even really cool content can get lost in the flow of messages.


“Karma” (the counter of likes) is shown in the user’s profile. There is no sense in it, but attention to your own message is always pleasant. Holders of great karma consider themselves very respected users. It is similar to “Google Questions and Answers” (if you remember such a service), where the most erudite experts liked to show their achievements.


The popularity of the website and the activity of its audience attract the attention of companies that are trying to promote themselves in a less obvious way. Reddit is a great platform for advertising your website or even a product, but the obvious self-PR will be easily detected by moderators. In case you are a writer who wrote something interesting, or a startup with an interesting idea, then Reddit can be an ideal platform for your own promotion. The main thing is to choose the most relevant subreddit. Also, do not forget to read the rules as each subreddit may have their own ones. In case you break the rules, it may lead to the post deletion or even account ban.

Upvotes and downvotes

We have already dealt with the issue of upvotes and downvotes that stand for likes and dislikes. They determine how high your post or comment will go and how much attention they will get. Upvotes and downvotes are put by arrows near the comment and message. Most users still do not understand the principle of ratings. Downvote should be placed when the content is objectively bad and meaningless, so it does not bring any useful value to you.


The same can be applied to the comments. You should not downvote any opinion different from yours, but you need to downvote those people who offend, insult, abuse, etc.


If your comment receives a large number of downvotes, it will be hidden from other users. Subreddits can put a limit on the number of posts per minute, and this can seriously limit your ability to take an active part in the life of the subreddit.

Upvotes and downvotes are very important for maintaining order. Comparing with other social networks like Twitter, karma system on Reddit allows you to hide bad comments and raise high-quality ones. Thanks to this system, discussions on the platform are like a smart dialogue, but not a kindergarten like on other similar platforms..

Mobile version

Reddit has a rather nasty habit of forcing smartphone users to download a mobile app. This is done by annoying ads that appear every time you open a website in a browser. Advertising can be closed, but I highly recommend downloading one of the many clients for mobile devices. You can choose the official one, but I recommend picking third party apps that offer both more functionality and the opportunity to get rid of advertising. The matter is that it becomes more and more annoying yearly.


The official application works, but does not provide you with extended functionality. In general, there are many options. Considering Android, I would suggest paying attention to Joey, which includes an abundance of customization options, a built-in ad blocker, filters, previews of posts and so on. 


Speaking about other tools, pay attention to popular BaconReader with a beautiful interface and themes, and a stylish Slide. Apple device users prefer Apollo. All in all, choosing an application is a matter of taste.

Business and Reddit

Even the relatively naive website veterans think the platform was created with a monetization plan in mind. Recent trends confirm this: from year to year, there is more advertising, and we are talking about both banal banners and more clever hidden advertising as memes and personal notes.


Many companies use the website to find a new audience. We have already discussed how you can draw attention to your own platform or website, but you should not forget that Reddit is often used by more pragmatic people. Moreover, there are so many of them that the entire audience of the platform can be divided into two parts – consumers and marketers who try to find the best way of their product promotion. This is the so-called inbound marketing. Quality marketing is not only difficult to distinguish from simple posts, but it is also capable of creating a galaxy of imitators who promote someone else’s product without any doubts.


For example, nothing prevents the distributors of the new Hollywood movie from posting a series of memes in the hope that some format will be successful. 

Integrated security and moderators

If you want to post any material, whether it is commercial or not, you need to remember two lines of security. The first is a built-in filter, which is an automatic system that determines whether the content is relevant or not. A spam filter of this kind can easily mark your post as inappropriate and delete it. Anything can attract the attention of the filter – a forbidden word in the heading, an image, not following the templates and so on. At the same time, the profile gives the impression that everything has been sent, but the audience will never get to your post. In order to check whether your message was posted, you need to find it directly in the subreddit.


The second line of security is live moderators. They are always careful to ensure that hidden advertising is not squeezed into the subreddit. Most likely, the only surefire way to completely publish an advertisement is to buy it honestly. However, it requires a lot of money, and such an advertisement is not obvious. Tricky ways include buying upvotes and even accounts. The latter is important, because new accounts always raise suspicions within moderators and users and they can quickly detect your promoted product and ban your account.

Conclusion. Why do I need Reddit?

Despite a considerable number of tasteless subreddits and trolls, Reddit is the best option of a news social website. Due to strict moderation and rating system, materials of high quality pass up to the top. Subscribe to a dozen topics that are relevant for you, and every day you can consume good-quality content that will help in self-development. 


Well, the main differentiating feature of the platform is quality discussions. For this reason, many news sites periodically copy original content from this platform as there are a lot of interesting things here, often in the comments. High-quality discussions appear due to the widest audience coverage and work of moderators. 


Finally, let’s take a look at a few useful abbreviations often used across the platform.


  • AMA – Ask Me Anything. The name of one of the most popular subreddits and the word you mention in your message to be asked different questions. For example: “I’m a fireman, AMA!”

  • NSFW – More or less well-known abbreviation, which means “Not Safe For Work”. Adult only content.

  • TIL – Today I Learned. It is also the name of a pretty popular subreddit. It is placed at the end of the message to specify that you have learned a useful content.

  • OP – Original Poster. Seen in the comments. 

  • OC – the original content. It means that something is originally yours and not taken in Google.

  • TL; DR – Too long, did not read.

  • MIC – More information in the comments.

  • Flair – Nick customization in a specific subreddit.

  • Crosspost – a post taken from another subreddit.

  • Cakeday – Registration Day on the website. On this day, a cake will appear next to your nickname. It is customary to be courteous with a person celebrating this “holiday”.

  • ELI5 – Explain Like I Am Five. It means that a person requires a simple answer without using strictly professional terms. Often said by people without deep sphere knowledge.

  • Reddit Gold is a kind of currency on the platform. If you buy “gold”, then you can get certain buns and just help the site. Most often, “gold” is gifted to others in order to thank for quality content or comment. Gold will soon disappear and be replaced by Reddit Premium.


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