How Reddit works

Who I am
Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda

Preliminary information

Before describing yourself how Reddit works in detail, how to register and how to interact with other users of the site, let me explain briefly what is Reddit and why it has become so famous on the Web. The portal, in fact, was born in 2005 and has undergone many changes over the course of its existence, until it becomes what it is now.

The goal of the portal is to host user-created content: if you want, you can think of it as a forum composed of thousands of sub-channels, called Subreddit, dedicated to specific topics and dedicated to the most disparate themes. In them, users can discuss with text messages having ample freedom of expression (in some cases, explicit content is also allowed, so watch out!).



Furthermore, the inserted contents can be voted by users in a positive or negative way: these are upvotes and downvotes, which allow you to immediately identify which contents and comments are deemed valid by the community.

The set of contents, votes and popularity of a user allow him to earn Karma, which is intended as an indicator of the quality and ability to involve the community assigned to a user. In the next chapters I will also explain this concept in detail.

The strength of Reddit, however, is undoubtedly the huge number of registered users who, currently, are over 330 million. Thanks to the large number of users and counting that on average more than 50.000 contents, the portal boasts numerous interactions between users and is often the reference point for researching opinions and reviews.

Although these numbers may make you think of a great dispersion of topics, the website is organized in such a way as to divide them into specific categories, managed by the users themselves, which make browsing and using Reddit very simple and comfortable.



As already mentioned, most of the content concerns the English-speaking world, but there is also a large in your languagen community that every day offers interesting discussions dedicated to the most varied topics.

How to use Reddit

Having made the necessary general overview of Reddit and the mechanisms underlying its operation, I would say to get more into the heart of the guide and find out how to use it.

How to register on Reddit

To make the most of Reddit, the first thing to do is to create an account on it, even if the consultation of the discussions already opened by other users does not require it.

To proceed, visit the main page of Reddit and click on the button that says Sign Up at the top right. Once this is done, you have the option to sign up using an external account by pressing the button Continue with Google or on the button Continue with Apple depending on the account you want to use.

If you want to subscribe using your email, instead, enter your email address in the proposed field and press the button Continue, in order to proceed with the registration. Now choose a username to use and enter it in the field Choose a username, then set yours Password and click sul pulsating I'm not a robot. Finally press the button Sign Up.

On the next screen, you will be offered some Subreddit and Community to subscribe to. These are specific categories and topics that you might find interesting. You can also explore the categories from the menu on the right and press the button Join to subscribe to them.


Once the registration is complete, or if you do not want to register immediately but prefer to wait and explore the portal, press the button Finish, bottom right, to complete the registration process.


Remember to verify your email, to fully activate the account: to do this, press the button at the top right, Got it, then check your inbox and locate an email from Reddit with the subject Verify your Reddit email address. Then open the message in question, click on the first link present in it and that's it.

Once this is done, your account will be active and verified. So you just have to explore the portal and find interesting content for you. In the next few chapters, I'll explain how the Subreddit and Karma of Reddit, in order to provide you with all the essential tools for your exploration.

How subreddits work

Now that you are a member of Reddit and you are a verified user, you can immediately find interesting information on the portal home page. First, let me explain more precisely how the Subreddit, which define the categories present on the site.

Looking at the top left, you can see the wording Popular with the drawing of a arrow. It is a Subreddit that is proposed to all new users: all the most popular contents of the moment are collected in this category. In the center of the screen, you can see this content and explore it however you like.


In addition, at the top left of each post, you can see a writing starting with r/ followed by a caption: these are the specific Subreddits in which that content has been inserted. By clicking on this heading, you can explore the corresponding Subreddit and view the contents present in it.

Exploring the various Subreddits on the portal it is easy to find many interesting ones. Precisely for this reason, Reddit allows you to subscribe to them and view their contents in your main feed (a bit like when you like a page on Facebook or an Instagram profile, to give you examples that maybe you are more familiar with).


To subscribe to a Subreddit, once you have entered it, click on the button Join located at the top right. Remember that you can also search for specific Subreddits using the search bar at the top, in the center, for example by entering a word or phrase of your interest and exploring the search results.

Now that you are subscribed to a Subreddit, you can view its contents directly from your home page: the more Subreddits you decide to follow, the more your home page will be customized and shaped according to your interests.

You can also decide to abandon a Subreddit: to do this, once you are inside it, place the mouse on the button Joined at the top right and press on the writing Leavenworth just appeared.

Once you have subscribed to numerous Subreddits, it may happen that your home page is heavily populated with content. In this circumstance, finding the Subreddit you are interested in may not be easy, but don't worry: at any time you can use the menu at the top left, next to the Reddit logo, to explore the Subreddits you have subscribed to or to browse. in the predefined sections of the portal.

Another very interesting function is accessible by pressing, in the menu I have just indicated, the item Top Communities: in this section, you can find, in fact, the most popular and growing Subreddits, with the possibility of sorting them by proximity, categories or simply by popularity.

After discovering new content and exploring some Subreddits, I'm sure you're wondering how to actively participate in it. So know that doing this is very simple. Once in a Subreddit, in fact, you can click on the writing Create Post to enter the writing interface for a new post.

As you can see, you have the option to choose whether to create a text or other post. Just press the button Post (to create a text post), Images&Video (to create a multimedia post), Link (to share an external link) or Poll (to create a survey) to decide the type of content you want to share.

Not all Subreddits accept these options, so sometimes you may have fewer options at your disposal. In any case, once you have written your post you can complete it by adding several options to it. Although they change often, you can always find, in the lower section, some universal options among which the most important Flair.

A Flair acts as a specific category of the Subreddit on which you are creating your content. Even if it may seem unimportant to you, know that using the correct Flair is very useful for keeping the Subreddit in order: therefore make sure you choose the most suitable one, also to avoid possible removal of the post by the moderators.

When you're done creating your content, click the button Post to share it with the community. You can also press the button Save Draft to save a draft of your content and continue later. Lastly, be sure to check the box Send me post reply notifications if you want to be notified with a notification about the replies received on your post.

Finally, I want to tell you how to interact with posts written by other people. You need to know, in fact, that Reddit offers you several methods to interact with posts. Below and to the side of each post, you can see a few options. Don't worry if they seem complicated to you or if you don't know what they are for: I'll explain them to you immediately.

First, it is good that you know that you can express appreciation or disapproval of a post by using two arrows present at the top left of each post. These functions, called Upvote e Downvote, are essential to get an immediate idea of ​​the reactions of the community to a post.

If you want to comment on a post instead, click on the entry Comments showing the number of comments present, placed at the bottom left. You can also decide to award a prize to a particularly interesting post by clicking on the button Give Award.

This last function allows you to use some specific virtual prizes, which you can confer by purchasing the Coin, which represent the virtual currency circulating on Reddit. You can buy Coins directly from the Give Award screen, or by pressing the button Get Coins at the top right, next to your profile picture.

Another useful option for interacting with posts is available by clicking the button Share. In the menu that has just appeared, you can decide to copy the link to the post by clicking on Copy Link, share the post on another subreddit by clicking the button Crosspost, or get the HTML code to insert the post on a web page or space available to you, by clicking on the button Embed.

If you particularly liked a post and want to keep it for the future, you can press the button Save. In this way, you will be able to find the post in question in the future by clicking on your profile picture, located at the top right, choosing the menu item My Profile and finally pressing the voice Saved present at the top center.

Finally, Reddit offers you two functions to protect you from posts that you find offensive or unsuitable. To show these functions, click the button .... You can then decide to hide the post by pressing the button Hide, or to report it to the moderators, by clicking on the button Report.

How karma works on Reddit

A very interesting feature introduced by Reddit is the Karma. This value is a score given automatically to a user based on their activity on the portal. Ultimately, Karma indicates the value of a user and the quality of the content created by him.

Getting Karma is quite simple, and it will come naturally to you over time. Know, however, that Karma increases with interactions: the more content you create, and the more your content, including comments, is rated positively, the more your Karma grows. Likewise, negative votes cause karma to decrease.

Users with the highest Karma get more visibility on its own contents. If, for example, you create content in a very popular Subreddit, it will be easier for you to have your post visible to many users if you have high Karma. Likewise, looking at a specific user's Karma is a good way to understand the user's trustworthiness within the community.

You can check your Karma by looking at the top right, just below the writing that shows your username. To check another user's Karma, on the other hand, just click on theirs username, for example in one of his posts, to enter his profile page and get the information you are looking for on the right side of the screen.

App by Reddit

If you want to use Reddit from smartphone e tablet, you should know that, in addition to the official app, there are several apps that can offer you a comfortable and intuitive user experience. I have collected for you a list of apps, official and unofficial, widespread and fully functional.

  • Reddit (Android/iOS) - this is the official Reddit app available for Android and iOS devices. Being the official app, it has all the functions of the portal and offers an experience very similar to that available on the PC.
  • Apollo (iOS) - this unofficial app is the most popular for accessing Reddit from iPhone and iPad. Its strong point is the design, which closely follows that of the native apps for iOS. It also offers very high performance and enhanced media playback controls.
  • Boost for Reddit (Android) - one of the most popular Reddit apps that can be used on Android devices, it offers an intuitive interface modeled on the Material Design typical of the Google operating system. The ability to use colorful comments, filters and fast and effective navigation modes have contributed to making this app one of the most popular alternatives to the official client.
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