What Is Reddit and How to Use It: The Definitive Guide | Tom's Guide

What Is Reddit And How Does It Work?

There are numerous social platforms available over the Internet but if you are looking for a one-stop to get it all then ‘Reddit’ must top your favourites list. This social site offers debate, news, answers, and entertainment to get you across every subject matter you can hardly imagine. This platform is said to be the front page of the Internet and in the last decade, this saying is proved to be true. Many users can trace trends and they share the news on which other users can comment with extraordinary knowledge and wit. If you are unaware of how Reddit works then this blog is written just for you, it is expected that by reading until the end of this blog you will become a Reddit Master.


What is Reddit?


Reddit is simply a platform with a different group of forums in which users can easily register and can share their thoughts almost on any topic such as news to k-pop music, science to filmmaking, literature comics and the list goes on. On Reddit, you can talk about the weirdest things that are otherwise not available on other platforms including the Not Safe For Work (NSFW) things.


What is a subreddit?


The specialized forums that we mentioned earlier are known as “SubReddits” which are commonly referred to as r/”topic” for example r/gadgets which open in a new tab. There are around 130,000 active users associated with subreddits. You can easily become part of all these subreddits except for the private ones. The private ones require an admission process. You can easily subscribe to the subreddits to get informed by their posts on your personalized Reddit home page.



How many users are a part of Reddit?


The latest updated figure is 430 million active users every month, which makes Reddit the seventh most anticipated platform in the United States and overall nineteenth in the world. The statistics are taken from October 2021, and all Reddit users are labelled as ‘Redditors’.


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What are the most popular subreddits?


‘Reddit’ is not much fun without its subreddits which are the main source of user engagement and entertainment. The better way is to build up a collection of your favourites by searching Reddit for all the topics that are worth debating. We have sorted out a list of some popular subreddits that will be worth your interest:


/r/all: Reddit’s all page consists of active posts from around the site

/r/news: If you are interested in serious content related to current affairs and news, then this sub is for you.

/r/CrappyDesign: This sub is all about having a good laugh at the worst design decisions that you will ever see.

/r/DeepIntoYouTube: This one is a collection of ‘forgotten’ Youtube videos that are old school with fewer views.

/r/techsupport: If any computer problem comes up, then this sub will solve your problem like any professional. Try posting your problem here.

/r/TheoryofReddit: Get meta on this sub to get dedicated posts on topics about Reddit itself.


This is just a very small part of Reddit. There are hundreds of communities that you can join depending upon your life interests. You can also check out the /r/FindAReddit directory for a wide sampling.


Can I create my subreddit?


If you are already registered then you can even create a subreddit of your dreams all by yourself. All you need to do is that you will have to follow the community guidelines, as many subreddits have been removed for being illegal.


How can I find subreddits?


You will notice a search field present at the top of every page on the site. All you have to do is to enter your desired topic and it will pop up on your front screen. In case, you are looking for NSFW topics then you will have to register yourself first by clicking on the ‘include NSFW results’ checkbox.


How do I submit to Reddit, comment, and vote?


Reddit is open to anyone who wishes to navigate freely. You can register on diversified subreddits and get involved in the most happening things around the world. Registered users can easily make new submissions to any one of the public subreddits. Registered users can also comment on other user submissions in an open comment field right below the submission. In the same way, you can reply to other users’ comments by clicking on reply. Most importantly all the registered users can downvote or upvote any of these submissions which is why Reddit is a highly cherished platform.


How does the front page work?


All submissions are featured on Reddit’s front page, which is due to a variety of smart algorithms. The Reddit front page has many different tabs. In case you are not registered, then your default tab is ‘Hot’ which is the view scale of submissions with the highest score. The score is determined by excluding the downvotes from the upvotes. If you are already registered, then by default the tab is called ‘Best’. It features the most voted posts across all the other subreddits by taking certain factors into account, just like how much time a user spends on submissions before or after they have become a part of any subreddit. This is indeed a very personalized way of getting rid of old posts and inviting fresh ones to your front page. Many other tabs like ‘Rising’ features new posts that bag upvotes quickly and ‘Controversial’ that post subject matter of conflicting opinions by looking at the difference between upvotes and downvotes.


What can I submit to Reddit?


There are mainly four kinds of submissions namely: image, link, text, and video. Every submission requires a suitable title based on interest but must be devoid of promotion or hyperbole.


Are there any Reddit rules?


As a basic rule, ‘reddiquette’ expect you to portray civil behaviour as there is always a human being just like you on the other side of the screen. There is no room for trolling or spam, and the platform has all the right to take immediate action for the violation of these rules. Self-promotion is allowed to a certain extent. Be mindful of the rules, and you will do just fine!


Do subreddits have extra rules?


Every subreddit has its own predefined rules that you have to read to follow when posting or commenting on existing posts. Certain subreddits, such as r/pics (which opens in a new tab), only accept image submissions and reject external links. Whereas many other subreddits will require you to add more description in your posts as in r/science (opens in a new tab). It is always a wise decision to read subreddit rules before you make your submissions.


What is”flair”?


Some subreddits will want to add flair to your submission; it works to identify what the submission is about. For instance, the subreddit r/gadgets (which opens in a new tab) has flairs like Music, TV, Projectors, Phones, Transportation, and many more. Some subreddits allow users to include a personalized flair alongside their usernames. This is important to show off your interests to other users.


Do upvotes have any other effect, and what is karma?


As people upvote or downvote your comments and posts, all this activity is added to your ‘karma’. The higher your karma is the better position you will have in the user community. However, there are no prizes or rewards associated with karma and once lost, it can not be redeemed. It is merely a score but differentiates you among active users on the website.


Can you lose karma on Reddit?


Yes! The algorithm works in such a way that every time a user votes negatively on your post, you lose points on your global ‘karma’. This is not a thing to worry about as it is just a metric to help you learn from your experiences and grow. This is the purpose of Reddit to have fun constructively.


Can I get banned from Reddit?


Yes! You can get banned from this social platform if you are a spammer or intend to use Reddit to spread hate speech or any other form of negativity. However, it won’t ban you from reading its content but will not allow you to participate in posts and comments. Once you get banned by Reddit, then consider yourself done once and for all. Therefore it is important to stick by the platform guidelines and be as friendly as possible.


Can I get banned from a subreddit?


Yes! Moderators can ban you for not abiding by the rules of Reddit. There are various kinds of moderators and some are strict than others but you should bear in mind that any moderator can ban you right away for not following the rules daily. However, getting banned from a single subreddit can only prevent you from sharing stuff on that particular subreddit while you can still browse content and submit it to other subreddits.

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