What is a Subreddit? A Quick Guide for New Users

January 3, 2022 • Shannon Flynn


Depending on how much time you spend surfing the web, you may or may not have heard of the website Reddit. You may wonder, “What is Reddit, and how do I use it?” 

Reddit is one of the most-visited sites online — the site recorded approximately 1.7 billion visits during June 2021. Also known as the “front page of the internet,” Reddit is a digital platform where registered users, called Redditors, can post various types of content.

Let’s learn more about Reddit, the meaning of a subreddit and other information you might want to know about this increasingly popular site. 

How Does Reddit Work?

Essentially, Reddit is a huge collection of forums where Redditors can share news and content and comment on other people’s posts. 

Registration on Reddit is free. Users can choose to upgrade to Reddit Gold for a monthly or annual subscription, including turning off sidebar ads and joining member-only communities.

Reddit is built around social sharing, where users submit links, photos and text. Redditors can then vote up or down on that content, and the content with the most votes rises to the top. In contrast, downvoted content appears less visible on the site.

What is a Subreddit?

You may have heard or seen subreddits online at some point during your browsing. A subreddit is essentially a subsidiary thread in a conversation related to an overall concept or theme.

Reddit is broken up into millions of subreddits. People interact with each other and post content related to one main topic. Much of the time, subreddits have specific rules, themes and general expectations. 

A subreddit’s name begins with “r/” and ends with the topic discussed within that specific thread in the forum. For example, r/baseball would correspond to a discussion about baseball, America’s pastime. 

While that example is pretty straightforward, subreddit names can get a bit strange, such as r/myevilplan, which describes itself as a subreddit that allows evildoers to share their plans with other evildoers. 

This shows how almost any community can form on Reddit by using subreddits. There are a few requirements you must meet to create a subreddit. You must be a registered user, your account must be 30 days old, you must be somewhat active on the site and you have to earn a minimum amount of “karma” points, which you earn by being active.

Some subreddits seek to accomplish a task, such as where users post photos and ask other users to edit, alter or Photoshop them. 

Are Subreddits Safe?

In general, Reddit and its subreddits are safe and free of malware, which protects users from the cybersecurity side of things. However, because subreddits are essentially limitless in what kind of content users can post, explicit material is not suitable for young children. 

Some subreddits are specifically for kids, such as r/kiddet. Something else worth noting is that Reddit does not require any personal information from its users, so users can pretty much remain anonymous when posting. There’s no need for you to use your primary email address or include your full name to use Reddit.

Because subreddits can have inappropriate content, Reddit suggests that children use the site with parental permission or supervision. 

What is the Most Popular Subreddit?

Some subreddits end up gaining popularity because their content is engaging, funny or news-related. Below, we’ll list some of the most popular subreddits and how many users are subscribed to them.

  • /r/announcements with 129,309,075 subscribers
  • /r/funny with 38,403,518 subscribers
  • /r/AskReddit with 34,427,169 subscribers
  • /r/gaming with 31,293,736 subscribers

Subreddits’ subscriber numbers are subject to change. It all depends on how many subscribers upvote content within the subreddit. 

Reddit has had its fair share of controversies. Some communities violate guidelines and are taken down. For example, the subreddit r/NoNewNormal was removed after users reported misinformation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic due to a site-wide protest.

Because Reddit is already so popular, it’s likely that the site will only continue to grow, and more users will subscribe. 

Understanding Subreddits

Hopefully, you know more about Reddit and what subreddits are. Because it’s a social sharing site, you can find pretty much anything on Reddit, no matter how niche the topic. Consider using Reddit to answer common questions, learn about a specific topic or engage with other Redditors.