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March 27, 2017

What is Reddit?

Part social network, part media platform, Reddit is one of the most popular sites on the web.

By Alexander Sword

Reddit is an entertainment and news website where users can share content.

The site displays a long list of posts, which can include links to articles elsewhere on the web or posts in the form of texts.

The site is divided into subreddits, with each user choosing which subreddits they would like to subscribe to according to interest. These include general political threads for individual countries, a music subreddit where links to music may be shared or more miscellaneous threads such as ‘Shower Thoughts’, which contains a range of often amusing or paradoxical musings by Reddit users.

The essence of Reddit is the upvote system. Users can either upvote or downvote a post according to their opinion of it. The more upvotes a post gets, the more prominently it will be displayed on the site.

The comments on the site are as important as the posts themselves, and can become extended discussion forums for issues highlighted within the link or for more peripheral issues.

Why is Reddit NOT a social network like Facebook?

Reddit fulfils some of the functions of a social network, with the ability to share material, send messages and approve posts. You can add also add friends on Reddit.

However, unlike with Twitter or Facebook, all submissions are essentially given an equal footing, only ranked according to how many upvotes they get.

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A user collects ‘karma’ according to how many upvotes their posts and comments get upvoted.

It is predominantly frequented by a consumer rather than business audience. In the UK there are 6.6 million users per month, according to statistics obtained from Reddit by BBC Newsbeat covering four weeks in April and March.

According to statistics from Similar Web, in total worldwide there have been 1.1 billion visits to Reddit in the last six months.

Reddit was founded by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian in 2005. It was acquired by publisher Conde Nast in 2006.

The site is increasingly being used for purposes beyond simply sharing posts but becoming a platform for new forms of art. April saw the beginning of what could be called the first Reddit novel, when a user started commenting on random posts about something called “flesh interfaces”.

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