Snarky comments, dark humor, and the geeks and nerds and the social media experts: Reddit is what could be called the hub of everything. Reddit was released in 2005 by Steve Huffman, Aaron Swartz, and Alexis Ohanian. Following its release, Reddit became one of the biggest social media platforms, currently being the 18th most visited site in the world. Just like any other social media platform different people share content and information on this site. However, certain things differentiate Reddit from other major social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.
Basic Understanding of Reddit
To keep everything organized and coordinated, different forums on Reddit are divided into subreddits. Each subreddit focuses on a single topic of interest and people interact with each other as they discuss or post about a certain topic. There are over a million subreddits dedicated to a vast variety of topics. Including many obscure topics such as /r/BreadStapledToTrees, a subreddit for trees with bread stapled on them.
Old users are well versed in how to use Reddit, but new users might be confused by the interface as it is not similar to anything else out there. But it gets easier once you get a basic understanding of it. When you open the site for the first time, you are greeted by the homepage. The homepage gathers everything in a single place, displaying multiple posts from different subreddits. However, the posts can be a bit random, so there is an option to sort them using the ribbon menu under the “Create Post” text box.
Although, as a new user you need to subscribe to different subreddits to be able to see posts from them. There is a search bar on top exactly for this purpose. You can type in keywords and multiple subreddits will be shown similar to that keyword. It is very easy to find subreddits of things that might be intriguing or interesting to you.
Moving on towards another aspect of subreddits. There might be a moment where you want to make a subreddit of your own. Purely because a topic of your interest doesn’t exist there. It is fairly simple to create a subreddit but there are some prerequisites to it. Firstly, you must have a Reddit account, which is pretty obvious. Your account must be 30 days old and it must be active as well. Finally, you must have the minimum amount of karma.
Whenever you create a subreddit, you can administer it yourself. However, if it is too overwhelming for you. Other people can be given moderator powers and they can help you manage the subreddit. Reddit employees have admin powers, and they are usually doing the highest level of moderation on site. There have been cases where they banned entire subreddits.
Karma and coins
The posts use somewhat of a similar mechanism used by Facebook. But with the addition of downvotes or dislike if Facebook had such a button. There are two arrows for either upvoting a post or downvoting it. There is also the ability to upvote or downvote user comments. The upvotes on comments result in Karma for the user. As mentioned before, Karma can be used to make subreddits of your own. Of course, it helps solidify you in the community. The posts can be given awards as well as a way to show appreciation for a certain post. However, these awards require Reddit coins which in turn support the Reddit community.
Reddit also has a subscription service that can give certain perks if you were to subscribe to it. This service is also a way to support the community similar to buying the Reddit coins. It costs 6 dollars per month and it grants you access to features that normal users don’t have. There is also access to some features that would be released to normal users later on. Subscription users also become a member of the subreddit /r/lounge, which is an exclusive subreddit. Lastly, there is a constant supply of coins for the aforementioned awards.
Reddit users are also known for using specific terms and abbreviations such as AMA, OP, and TIL. OP means “original post” while TIL means “today I learned”. AMA on the other hand is usually one of the terms that can stir up an “Ask me Anything” thread. This is usually done by people with unique experiences or famous people with interesting lives.
Reddit has been continuously evolving over the years as more and more people joined the site bringing different topics of interest with them. During its early days, it was limited to a certain kind of people, but this has changed as Reddit itself has become more inclusive for everyone joining the site. There are all kinds of topics even some that you might not be comfortable with but it does bring together different types of people together in a very unique and distinctive way.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what Reddit is and wish to become part of the community, you must sign up for an account. This is a simple process and takes a few minutes at most.
On the main page of Reddit, there is a blue sign-up button on the top right corner. Clicking this button will open up another window that will show you different steps on how to make the account. You will be asked to choose a username and an email will be required as well. You can make multiple accounts as well as Reddit doesn’t have any limitation on how many accounts are made by a person.
After you have successfully signed up, Reddit will start suggesting different popular subreddits. If you already have some communities in mind, you can easily search for them in the search power. There isn’t any limit to how many subreddits you can subscribe to so fresh content is always on the horizon. It is a truly wonderful experience and one of the major reasons why so many people are part of this huge community.