Last Updated: 4/25/2017
In the age of modern, intuitive web design, Reddit is anything but and can be extremely confusing for new users.
Posts cover a variety of topics and come from a variety of sources, and the result is a seemingly random assortment of links, topics, and comments that often overwhelms first-time users who have no idea what the dizzying array of text means. Registered users of the site rank posts by “upvoting” or “downvoting.”
The key to understanding how to use Reddit is to realize that posts are displayed according to the user voting system or post date.
The general idea is that the best content gets the most views because the most upvoted content moves further and further up the ranking system until it reaches the “front page.”
The tips below outline a very basic explanation of how to use Reddit so that you can quickly get caught up on the best cat gifs, memes, and life pro tips that the internet has to offer.
How to Use Reddit
- Create an account.
- Familiarize yourself with the menu that runs along the top of the site.
- Make a note of the “Front” and “All” menu categories.
1. What are Subreddits?
A subreddit can is simply a discussion forum for a particular topic.
When you create your account, Reddit automatically subscribes you to many its most popular subreddits. The “Front” page view of Reddit contains posts from subscribed subreddits only, and this is why your “Front” page view has content by default. Otherwise, your “Front” page would be blank.
2. How to find interesting subreddits.
Google “Reddit + any topic of your choosing” to find the appropriate subreddit (e.g. “Reddit worldnews”). The top Google result will almost always be the most popular subreddit for that topic.
Once you’ve found a subreddit that interests you, click the link to the subreddit, and look to the right at the menu sidebar and click “subscribe.”
3. Browsing Reddit.
By subscribing to a subreddit, you will include that subreddit’s posts into your “Front” page (default) view of Reddit.
“All” includes posts from every subreddit on Reddit. The posts displayed on Reddit will be sorted by “hot, best, rising, top”, etc. “Hot, rising, and top” will probably be the most relevant views to what you’re looking for. Best” sorts by the highest upvote to downvote ratio. “Top” sorts by most overall upvotes regardless of how many downvotes, and “hot” is simply the most upvotes recently.
When you find a particularly interesting subreddit, sort by “Top” to see the most popular content submitted in the past. This will give you a good idea if you’ll like the content that is posted in the future.
Also, be sure to use the search feature in the sidebar on the right to find posts about a certain topic. We suggest keeping “limit my search to” the current subreddit until you get more familiar with the site.
This will help keep the number of results lower and something more manageable to sort through, but feel free to compare the differences between the search results with the box checked and unchecked.
4. How to make a post on Reddit.
- Create an account.
- Navigate to the subreddit where you want your post to appear.
- Keep “send replies to my inbox” checked if you want to receive messages whenever someone replies directly to your post (known as a top-level comment).
- Click “submit” and pray to the gods for that sweet, sweet Reddit karma.
5. How to post images on Reddit.
- Go to Imgur.com
- Drag and drop your image onto the page.
- Select “copy” to copy the url of your image.
- Go to your post on Reddit and paste (ctrl + v) the url into the “text” field of your post.
6. Once you’ve gotten the hang of how to use Reddit, try installing the Reddit Enhancement Suite (RES) browser extension.
RES contains many convenient features:
- Night mode
- Multiple account management (good for using separate accounts if want to keep a work account separate from one that views NSFW content).
- The ability to save posts for later retrieval.
- The ability to tag users with notes or descriptions and colored labels.
If you’ve tried Reddit before and given up, give it another shot. It’s truly one of the best places on the internet to get information regarding a multitude of topics. It’s also a popular medium for obtaining help with pretty much any problem you can imagine (official company support or otherwise).
The information on Reddit is valuable because it’s been vetted by other users (assuming it has votes), in addition, it’s usually up to date as well. You can think of it as a review site. It’s also an increasingly popular medium for obtaining help with pretty much any problem you can imagine (official or otherwise).
Update: New Reddit Feature
In response to some controversy surrounding the censorship of statements in the Donald Trump subreddit, /r/the_donald, Reddit’s CEO, /u/spez, made an announcement regarding a new Reddit feature that may drastically change users’ experience.
Users can now filter any specific subreddit from their feed by simply using the desktop view shown here.
- The filter will affect all platforms (including the native app, Android, and iOS).
- Prior to this announcement, users had to install a 3rd party add-on (like Reddit Enhancement Suite) to filter a subreddit from appearing in their “All” feed.
- Once you’ve created an account (username), the ability to filter a subreddit is featured prominently on the sidebar.
This is significant because it’s a wild departure from their previous stances. Defenders of Reddit’s unfiltered, somewhat difficult to navigate (for beginners at least) layout often point to the fact that it encouraged exploration and increased exposure to interesting topics one might not otherwise find.
People often find some of the most informative subreddits or interesting subreddits because a topic from a subreddit they don’t follow hits “All.”
By placing the feature so prominently, it seems Reddit is encouraging users to really take advantage of this feature.