Is Reddit Social Media? That’s a Dumb Question, So Stop Asking

Is Reddit considered social media? Should I evaluate Reddit separately when forming my digital strategy for 2023?

Why this matters:

Before I answer your question, let me first say that Reddit is a highly influential digital platform and should not be overlooked. Word travels ultra-fast on the internet, and most of the time, it originates within a Reddit thread. A product can go viral, or a company can be canceled in the time it takes me to complete a sentence. Either way, you must prioritize Reddit for digital campaigns and social listening.

So, going back to the question at hand: is Reddit social media? Of course, it is. Reddit is the OG of all social media sites. Reddit might be the most social of all social media on the internet today. It’s been around since 2005. One year after Facebook and one year before Twitter.

Reddit is popular for a variety of reasons. For one, it’s an incredibly diverse platform with something for everyone. No matter your interests, you can find a community on Reddit. There are communities for every topic imaginable, from sports and news to memes and cats. And since anyone can create a discussion thread, you can create any community you want.

As of 2021, there are 2.8 million subreddits on the platform. (Orbelo)
Reddit has 52 million daily users. (The Wall Street Journal)

Another reason Reddit is so popular is that it’s a great way to connect with like-minded people. If you’re looking for a supportive community to discuss your interests with, Reddit is a great place to start. You’d be surprised at the level of support and discussion you will find.

For example, this Cancer: Discussion & Support community is filled with people sharing stores and resources for people dealing with cancer in some way. The community was created in 2008 and had 47.3K active members.

Some might say that one of Reddit’s downfalls is anonymous users. I understand because Twitter has a similar challenge. The amount of trolling and negative conversation can take a toll. Reddit is different, though. The vast majority of users are kind, helpful, and respectful. Trolls exist, but the community has a way of policing members who don’t add value to the conversation. It doesn’t mean they aren’t critical, so don’t be an idiot.

What are the different types of Reddit communities?

The most popular type of Reddit community is called a Subreddit. These are specific communities dedicated to a particular topic. For example, there’s a r/news Subreddit where users discuss current events. There are also Subreddits for every imaginable interest, from video games to books to cooking. If you can think of it, chances are there’s a Subreddit for it.

Another popular type of Reddit community is AMAs (Ask Me Anything). As the name suggests, these are threads where people can ask questions to anyone they want. For example, Barack Obama did an AMA while he was President and answered questions about politics, his views on the role of government, and even what it was like to be a dad. AMAs are a great way to learn more about someone you’re interested in, and they’re also entertaining to read.

So, what do you think? Is Reddit social media? I think it’s clear that the answer is yes. It might not be what you traditionally think of when you think of social media, but it’s a platform that allows people to connect in meaningful ways. And in the end, isn’t that what social media is all about? Community, connections and meaningful conversations are what power Reddit’s dominance in social media.

But is Reddit a social media network?

Yes, it has all the same attributes as any popular social media site. It has a News Feed where you can see updates from the people and communities you follow. You can comment on other people’s posts, share your thoughts and stories, vote content up and down, and join in on discussions you care about. You can also message other users privately. Reddit also launched the ability to add GIFs to comments in select communities.

Reddit users can create a profile, upload an avatar, showcase trophies and the communities they moderate, and include links to other social media profiles.

And from a marketing perspective, Reddit has features for promoting ads and buying media than the other platforms. For example, you can run ads on Reddit targeting specific communities and buy media like promoted posts and sponsored links.

Little-known fun facts about Reddit

Here are a few cool things to know about Reddit. Can any other social media site come close to this? Of course, this is old news if you are an active Redditor.

  • When Reddit first launched, the founders created fake users to make the community appear vibrant and active. It was current staff members posting content under different usernames.
  • When Reddit first launched, they didn’t have comments either. I guess this makes sense, given the above point. You’d need to create a different profile to leave a comment for every post you create. Too much work at the time and not enough automation.
  • Reddit won three Guinness World Records for the largest secret Santa gift exchange, the most upvoted comment on Reddit, and the largest Reddit meetup.
  • Redditors raised $700K for Haiti after the earthquake in 2010. The company also donated $12K to support Nepal after the earthquake in 2015.
  • Countless celebrities have participated in AMAs, including Madonna, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jennifer Lawrence and President Obama.
  • Reddit can influence stock markets. For example, in 2021, a group of Redditors bought enough shares of GameStop to drive up the stock price and cost short-sellers $150 million.

So again, is Reddit social media? Yes. And, honestly, if that’s the question you’re asking, you’re wasting your time. What you should think about is that when you are planning your digital marketing, Reddit must be a strategic channel to engage with your customers.

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Michael Brito

Michael Brito is a Digital OG. He’s been building brands online since Al Gore invented the Internet. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.