How To Reddit

Normally when we talk about social media, we instinctively think of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They tend to dominate the social media scene. But another major player is Reddit, a bulletin board type website where users submit and discuss content, organized into topics called subreddits.

Founded in 2005 by University of Virginia students, Reddit is a social networking site valued at over $50 million. Although it’s had its ups and downs, Reddit continues to be a powerful source of information and interaction. Users sign up with a username and then begin voting on submissions and user comments. They can also post their own topics to subreddits.

What reddit lacks in physical design is made up for in the type of content it provides. Users use acronyms like TIL for “Today I Learned” and AMA for “Ask Me Anything,” two popular threads. TIL features interesting facts that people have discovered, while AMAs are usually hour-long discussions with celebrities. Celebrity participants have included Barack Obama, Stephen Colbert, Louis C.K. and Bill Nye, to name a few.

There are also AMAs for everyday people, such as “I’m a collections agent for capital one AMA” and “I just left the gym AMA.” Users can dig around through the thread to find the topic or person that interests them most.

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If users aren’t interested in threads, Reddit also facilitates a number of gift exchanges through its website. They’ll connect users with mailing addresses as well as other people’s interests to get them started. The biggest gift exchange is the annual Secret Santa, though Reddit has plenty more for those who prefer something else. Examples include Game of Thrones, Adult Swim, and Nintendo.

While Reddit primarily skews male, it offers a community that all types of people, regardless of their background, will find appealing. Since Reddit has so many subreddits, users can join and look for things specific to them. Let’s say we’re interested in space, crafting or movie history. We could find a number of subreddits and users dedicated to those things. People also turn to Reddit when they want advice, like when they travel to a new city and want things to do.

Though Reddit has a broad culture of user-submitted content, it is no stranger to controversy. Some subreddits have taken to insulting women, people of color, and overweight people. Though some subreddits have been policed, there’s still a large number of hate subreddits that exist. While they are the exception, Reddit users should still use the website with caution and report inappropriate content when found. There isn’t a whole lot of accountability on Reddit, so users have to use their discretion when on the site.

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Though Reddit isn’t as great a social media site for professional use, it offers a variety of ways to be entertained. Users can exchange gifts with people across the country, discuss topics personal to them or even learn interesting facts they never knew. Reddit doesn’t have to be a boys’ club. It has a place for all twenty-somethings, no matter what their interests are.

What are your thoughts on Reddit? Have any favorite subreddits? Share them in the comments below.