How to Use Reddit

December 16, 2020 • Devin Partida


Reddit is a wildly popular app that consolidates news, pop culture, memes and more. In one, place, you’ll have all the information and content you desire with just a few taps. Whether you’re new to Reddit, would just like a refresher or are checking in on the latest features, here’s how to use the platform.

What Is Reddit?

First, let’s unpack what Reddit exactly is. The platform, which had 430 million active users in 2019, describes itself as “the front page of the internet” — but what does that mean?

Reddit brings a lot of media together — images, text, links, news, memes, videos and more. It’s a news source and a resource for discussion forums. On the app, you can find almost anything you’re looking for with a quick search.

You can discuss topics with other users, browse the latest trends, find tips and focus on information, no matter how broad or specific. All in all, Reddit gives you a personalized way to learn.

What Are Subreddits?

As you browse through the app, you’ll find that everything appears in subreddits. These are the individual forums that focus on specific topics — they’re the things you follow that appear on your main feed. Instead of following accounts, like on other social media platforms, you follow or subscribe to subreddits on Reddit.

There’s likely a subreddit for everything. Whether you’re looking for DIY tips or memes about garlic bread, subreddits have it all. They show up as “r/”title” and contain submissions and contributions from the other users that follow it. Some examples include:

  • r/funny
  • r/askreddit
  • r/todayilearned

Some niche examples are:

  • r/dogswithjobs
  • r/perfectlycutscreams
  • r/boneappletea

Some are silly, some are informative and some are completely random things that you never thought other people would think of. There’s a subreddit for everything — even one about finding niche subreddits!

How Do You Interact with Others?

Reddit differs from other social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram because it’s not entirely a social media platform itself. It’s more of a crossover. Therefore, the way you interact with others differs, too.

You can submit content to different subreddits to contribute. Then, you can comment on others and add to a thread or start a new one. Through comments, chats and your inbox, you’ll interact with people the most. All you need to do is reach out to them directly by click on their username, or you can add to their thread.

Then, there’s upvoting and downvoting. When someone posts a comment on a subreddit post, you can upvote it or downvote it with the arrows. Comments with the most upvotes will reach the top spaces in the comment section.

What Are Karma and Flair?

Upvotes and downvotes influence karma — a number that Reddit assigns to your profile. It increases with the more upvotes you get and decreases when your comments receive downvotes. You don’t need to worry too much about this number. Some private subreddits incorporate karma numbers more than public subreddits do. Otherwise, you can just let your karma be.

Flair is a simple, fun addition to the platform. Next to your profile, you can add a little sticker in certain subreddits to correspond to the theme. For instance, in r/rupaulsdragrace, you can add a drag queen sticker of your choice next to your username. It will change for each subreddit, adding a bit of flair for every group you’re apart of.

What Are the Terms of Service?

Reddit doesn’t have overwhelming rules or terms to follow. However, the platform does provide a guide on “reddiquette” — here you’ll find everything you need to know about what you can and can’t post.

Reddit can ban you, so all you need to do is be respectful of other users and avoid spamming. Then, you’ll be set to enjoy everything the app has to offer.

Ready to Reddit

Reddit is available in a desktop, website version as well as apps for Apple and Android. You can browse through the site without making an account. However, if you want to follow subreddits, post connect and interact with others, you can sign up for free. Then, you’ll be ready to start your Reddit journey.