An avid Instagram user and moderately less so Facebook and Twitter user, I’ve always been intrigued by the social media platform called reddit. Incredibly, reddit’s users have been able to create a cross between front page news, memes, and rabbit-hole Internet wandering. reddit was rated the #4 most popular site visited in the USA according to usatoday.com. I could never figure out why was so popular when it seemed like it was just random discussions between users. But that’s exactly the point. The reddit community grows organically, without strict guidelines, allowing the users to move conversations whichever way they wanted. According to Erik Martin, reddit’s General Manager, giving up control “allows the community to drive the product.” This is when, he explains, the platform can reach and surpass its potential.
reddit users also have another unique ability: if they don’t agree with how that particular forum is unfolding, they have the ability to curate the platform and create personalized subreddits with their own opinions. These subreddits launch their own subreddits. By utilizing these subreddit’s and by crowd-sourcing, a user can gather large amounts of information. Users also self-manage their threads to act as guardians, and online etiquette (“reddiquette”) is taken seriously. Often, the thread unfolds exactly like a conversation, creating the human connection.
reddit users also have the ability to individualize their home page. Other social media platforms allow this to some degree, but none like reddit. According to ionos.com, users vote and rate subreddits, which ensures that quality threads remain close to the top and negative or deviated comments remain near the bottom.
The reddit network has maintained a close-knit, snarkily humored yet well-behaved, community driven platform. Users’ self-management has allowed reddit to grow past what it’s creators ever imagined. I predict reddit will only grow in popularity as people tire of the endless argumentative and contentious posts of other social media sites.