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Describing itself as the frontpage of the internet, Reddit has become one of the most important websites in the world, but to someone who’s not familiar with it, it can seem unapproachable and cluttered.
This comprehensive guide is here to get you started on your Reddit journey, and it also includes several best alternatives to Reddit to try if you decide that Reddit isn’t the right place for you.
What Is Reddit?
Reddit is essentially a massive discussion board where people from around the world share interesting links, images, videos, and text posts, which are then voted up or down by the Reddit community. Users can sort Reddit posts according to their popularity, which makes it easy to distinguish important content from noise.
Posts are organized into user-created and user-maintained boards called subreddits. Virtually every niche has its own subreddit, from wrestling to knitting to frugal living. Some subreddits allow everyone to participate and create posts, while others take advantage of Reddit’s karma system and accept content only from users who have earned sufficient karma for posts and comments published in other subreddits.
Exceptionally popular posts across all subreddits become part of the subreddit /r/popular, which serves as the default frontpage of Reddit, helping new and seasoned Reddit users alike discover the most interesting content published on the site.
How to Start on Reddit?
Getting started on Reddit is easy:
- Go to: Reddit.com
- Click the blue Sign Up button located in the top-right corner.
- Enter your email address and click Next.
- Choose a username and password.
- Confirm that you’re a human being and not a robot and click the Sign Up button.
In just a few seconds, you should receive a confirmation email from Reddit with a link to activate your new account.
One great thing about Reddit is that you can create as many accounts as you want. Many users create a throwaway account when sharing personal things they don’t want their main account to be associated with.
With your new Reddit account, you can start upvoting or downvoting posts you like and dislike, and you can also submit your own content to Reddit by clicking the Submit a New Link button underneath the search bar.
When submitting new content to Reddit, make sure to carefully read the rules of the relevant subreddit because posts that break rules are usually automatically rejected.
Can I Use Reddit on a Smartphone?
Absolutely! Reddit is optimized for mobile devices, so you can easily use it on a smartphone or tablet. There’s also the official Reddit app for Android and iOS devices, which offers a whole bunch of extra features to improve your Reddit experience.
In addition to the official Reddit app, there are also many third-party Reddit apps, such as:
- Apollo: An iOS-only Reddit app built by a former Apple employee with feedback from thousands of Redditors. Apollo features a beautiful design, fast loading times, and full Markdown editor, among other things.
- Narwhal: Just like Apollo, Narwhal is a Reddit app designed from the ground up for iOS. It offers a seamless viewing experience with minimal visual distraction, extensive support for gesture navigation, and compatibility with the latest version of iOS.
- Boost: This popular Reddit app for the Android operating system brings to the table a polished Material design, extensive customization options, great comment navigation, in-app media previews, the ability to filter posts by content type, subreddit, domain, author, or keywords in titles, and much more.
Most Active Subreddit
Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 most active subreddits according to redditlist, a website that maintains an up-to-date database of subreddits and their growth.
- news: As its name suggests, /r/news is a subreddit that focuses exclusively on current news. Most news stories on /r/news relate to the United States.
- AskReddit: If you have a question you would like answered by the people of the internet, you should post it to /r/AskReddit. Most posts on /r/AskReddit are lighthearted, making the subreddit a great source of entertainment.
- worldnews: This subreddit is basically an international version of /r/news, although news stories that relate to western countries and the United States generally receive far more upvotes than news stories from other parts of the world.
- politics: Why bother friends and family with your political options when you can join /r/politics instead and argue with strangers on the internet? With nearly 6 million members, this popular subreddit represents all political views, but it focuses mostly on the United States.
- funny: Featuring everything from cat gifs to funny videos, /r/funny is the most popular humor-based subreddit in December 2019. Even though most content on /r/funny is reposted from elsewhere, there’s so much of it that you’re guaranteed to find at least a few chuckle-worthy posts every day.
- AmItheAsshole: Have you ever done something that made you wonder if you were an asshole? Thanks to /r/AmItheAsshole, your actions can be judged by the people of the internet. All you need to do is describe what you did, and trust internet strangers to be objective and impartial (hint: they won’t be).
- pics: This is a general subreddit for pictures.
- videos: This is a general subreddit for videos.
- todayilearned: When was the last time you learned something interesting or even life-changing? If today, you’re welcome to share your realization on /r/todayilearned. If you haven’t learned anything noteworthy today, but you would like to, you can simply read the most popular posts on this subreddit and discover something interesting.
- aww: When life gets too stressful and you desperately need to relax, remember that /r/aww, a subreddit with posts that will make you go “aww,” exists.
Top 5 Best Reddit Alternatives in December 2019
Reddit may be the frontpage of the internet, but there are many other Reddit-inspired sites competing with it. Here’s a list of the top 5 best Reddit alternatives in December 2019:
Voat is a Reddit alternative that strongly advocates freedom of speech, allowing its members to share opinions that would be immediately deleted on Reddit. Because of its loose content policies, Voat has become home for several radical online communities, and the media have even associated it with the alt-right. The site itself is very similar to Reddit, and most differences are of cosmetic nature. For example, subreddits are called subverses on Voat. Most Voat users are Reddit refugees who left the site after their favorite subreddit was banned.
Steemit is a blockchain-based Reddit alternative where users can earn cryptocurrency for publishing interesting content. The site is one of the shiniest examples of decentralized applications, or DApps, which take advantage of the technology behind Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies. Because of how closely intertwined Steemit is with the world of cryptocurrency, it was greatly affected by the 2018 cryptocurrency crash, which forced it to lay off 70% of its staff. Since then, Steemit has made some necessary structural changes, but its future remains largely uncertain.
Co-founded in 2011 by Bill Ottman and John Ottman, Minds is an alternative social network that rewards contributors with tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, making it one of the earliest crypto social networks in the world. Minds upholds internet freedom with its anti-surveillance design, but the same design has attracted a number of fringe groups and individuals, who have flocked to the site to discuss their radical views. Minds even banned several accounts associated with neo-Nazism, but that wasn’t enough to improve its tainted image.
Gab is a social network that champions free speech, individual liberty, and the free flow of information online. Its creators firmly believe that users of social networks should be able to control their social media experience on their own terms, rather than the terms set down by large tech companies. In 2019, Gab released a browser extension and later a web browser, called Dissenter, which allow their users to leave comments on any content on the internet. The comments are visible only to other Gab users, so they can’t be managed by website owners.
Mastodon is a self-hosted social network that makes it possible for anyone to create a Reddit alternative. Individual Mastodon social networks are connected as a federated social network, and their users can interact with one another seamlessly. All Mastodon social networks have their own code of conduct, terms of service, and moderation policies, giving their administrators and users a lot of freedom to choose how they wish to operate.