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5 Reddit Trends for 2022/2023: Current Predictions You Should Know

Can a website with a simplistic UI comprised of conversations and shared links ever make it big? Reddit is conclusive proof that it can. Since its foundation in 2005, the platform has become one of the biggest social media sites in the world. Naturally, it has also undergone modifications based on the changing demands of users. This led to different Reddit trends over the years.

In this article, we will be discussing some of the most recent trends related to the site. Whether you’re a Redditor (an active Reddit user) or not, this should provide you with interesting insights about the platform. It shows just how extensive the so-called “front page of the internet” has gotten. Moreover, this should give you an idea of how businesses can also use this platform to their advantage. It will also give you a peek if COVID-19 affected the site in any way.

key reddit trends

People who discover Reddit for the first time will have their first impression greatly affected by which community they join. They could be entertained, offended, enlightened, disgusted, and more. That’s a testament to how diverse the content of the platform is.

The entire site consists of subreddits which are niches for each community. Some subreddits have three subscribers, while others have 20 million. Within the platform, you’ll find something as insightful as r/DecidingToBeBetter to something as ridiculous as r/DogTalk. Seriously, that’s a jump from a self-improvement page to a community that posts “GrrrRuuf” and comments “bark bark bark.”

However, regardless of how crazy it might sound, Reddit is a legitimate social network (Oberlo, 2021). Not only that, but it’s also many other things, including a microblogging platform, a collection of forums, and a content aggregator. Moreover, for business-minded individuals, it’s a big pool of leads just waiting to be tapped.

Just look at the chart below. Reddit has millions of active users (Statista, 2021). That kind of traffic per month isn’t something to ignore. For businesses, that’s over a hundred thousand potential conversions.

Source: SimilarWeb 2021

In fact, according to Global Statcounter, as of January 2021, Reddit is the sixth most visited social media site in the United States (StatCounter GlobalStats, 2021). In that position, it’s already leveling with social media giant Instagram. That’s why companies are thinking of ways to crack the platform. There’s also the fact that the site is a viable source of information regarding emotional and mental health amid COVID-19 (towards data science, 2020). Reddit owners can’t ignore the potential dollars from that, as well. For that reason, the platform has been undergoing various changes in some of its trends. Let’s check out a few of them.

1. Steadily Growing User Base

Reddit isn’t usually the first site that springs to mind when we talk about social media. That’s Facebook’s throne for now, according to our social media statistics. However, Reddit isn’t exactly a baby site either. Furthermore, it is by no means a mid-sized platform. In social media world rankings for the past few years, it has always stayed in the top ten.

Our collection of Reddit statistics shows the platform’s impressive figures compared to other big-shot sites. It’s the number five most visited site in the US, according to Alexa. With its 330 million monthly active users, it’s on par with Twitter. User base-wise, it’s only behind Facebook and Instagram. It also beats other social media platforms in terms of the number of users passionate about technology.

Reddit started as a place where a group of people who don’t know each other can geek out together. Slowly, it has spiraled into a collection of posts of all kinds—cat pictures, political debates, announcements, NSFW content—you name it. There’s a good chance Reddit has it. This only means that the site has grown into a platform outside its original niche, and it is continuing to do so.

There was a time when Reddit overtook Facebook (The Next Web, 2018) in terms of being the most visited site in the US. Alexa might have only counted desktop visits, and the site did drop behind after some time. However, that’s still an impressive achievement. Taking the number one social media spot from Facebook in any category is no easy feat, after all. While it doesn’t seem to be on the road to doing it again, Reddit has been experiencing a steady growth rate from the third quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021 (SimilarWeb, 2021). It also had 52 million daily users in 2020, representing a 44% growth over that of 2019 (The Verge, 2020). This would likely continue through the year and possibly beyond.

reddit by the numbers

 

User base growth key takeaways:

  • While it still doesn’t get the same appreciation as other social media networks, Reddit’s rise is undeniable. Therefore, companies who still haven’t considered the platform as a marketing channel will do themselves a favor by looking into it.
  • Reddit offers a collection of highly specific subreddits. That said, it is the perfect place for niche businesses to find and tap their target audience.

2. Reddit as a Research Tool

Reddit’s user base comes from almost all walks of life—students, employees, hackers, older gents, etc. Thus, by extension, the diversity of insights available on the platform is very rich. That’s something that many people today are taking advantage of.

Marketers, for instance, can mine information from the social platform and learn valuable insights from them. This might be about which subjects are getting the most attention, topics receiving the most hate, what’s trending, and the like. This is also a perfect place for finding which keywords are worth investing in.

To support this effort, many marketers are collecting data from different subreddits into a central location. They use content aggregator apps or sites, such as Feedly, for that purpose. There are also top social media monitoring software systems that help marketers in their social research. If the research and targeting are done right, the list could then serve as their very own research engine.

However, Reddit, as a research tool, isn’t a perk exclusive to marketers alone. It can be used for various types of studies and investigations, as well. A May 2017 study on whether Reddit is a viable source of high-quality data (UMass, 2017) proves this point.

In the study, researchers compared the quality of data from two sample populations. One is from a university pool, and the other is a group of Reddit users. The conclusion is pretty positive. Reddit users can provide a more diverse sampling compared to the traditional samples from college students. Moreover, the data they provide is valid with excellent measurement reliability.

COVID-19 research on Reddit

With Reddit as a viable source of data, researchers have leveraged the conversations on the popular social media site to make sense of the effects of COVID-19. In analyzing over 800,000 posts on Reddit, researchers from Harvard and MIT detected the increase in discussions on suicide and anxiety (MIT, 2020). They were also able to map out the impact of the pandemic and the quarantines on people with mental illnesses.

Aside from data gathering and analysis, researchers have taken to Reddit to impart knowledge on COVID-19, immunology, the efficacy of vaccines, and the like through Ask Me Anything threads (The University of Manchester, 2021).

Reddit as a research tool key takeaways:

  • Marketers can use Reddit by collecting data from their target subreddits, as their very own research engine. This provides them with useful insights regarding their audience as well as their perception of certain subjects. They could also use it to identify the ideal keywords for their search marketing efforts.
  • Researchers find that Reddit can be used as a sample size for certain studies. This makes it cheaper compared to surveying university students. The data they produce is varied and high-quality, as well. Thus, R&D (research and development) conducted by companies in the future might involve a sample population from Reddit.
  • Reddit has been a reliable source of COVID-19 information and is a platform for researchers to educate the public regarding the pandemic.

Most Popular Social Media Monitoring Software

  1. Qwaya gives you a suite of business tools to boost your social media marketing campaigns.
  2. BuzzSumo is a leading media analytics tool that comes with an excellent social media search engine.
  3. Sprout Social provides publishing, engagement and analytics tools to enhance your community presence.
  4. Agorapulse lets you manage all your social media profiles with the help of social community and moderation tools.
  5. Mention is a unique solution that lets you monitor multiple web activities in 40 languages.

3. Reddit for Marketing

As of February 2021, Alexa ranks Reddit 18th in terms of global internet engagement (Alexa, 2021). The average daily time that users spend on the site is about eight minutes and 51 seconds. Furthermore, it’s ranked 7th in the US and 3rd in the UK in terms of internet engagement among all websites. All these numbers are impressive; too impressive for marketers to ignore.

However, figures aside, Reddit hasn’t exactly been the most conducive place for promoting brands. That’s because it’s a heavily community-driven site. It’s literally made up of communities whose primary interest lies in engaging with others in their circle. Therefore, when someone just shows up and promotes a brand, users won’t think twice before downvoting and kicking their posts.

It’s not to say that promoting your brand inside Reddit is impossible. No, we don’t even discourage it. However, one thing must be taken into consideration: most users won’t appreciate posts that don’t offer them value. Upvotes and downvotes are two of the most significant factors for a post’s engagement since lower rates mean lower placement. Therefore, users hold a lot of power, and you’d do well not to get on their bad side.

The key to a successful Reddit campaign is genuine engagement. You must invest time and effort to build an organic and willing community around your brand. While it’s true that there are paid marketing tactics in Reddit, organic reach seems to be the way to go. Another option would be to utilize both paid and organic methods, similar to what you would do in an SEO vs. SEM situation.

Conversion is most likely the goal of every marketer when using Reddit. However, engagement usually comes before that. When we talk about Reddit marketing, there’s one place that can turn the tides in your favor: the front page. So, it’s best to try shooting for that.

reddit user engagement

Reddit for marketing key takeaways:

  • Reddit is offering different ways for companies to promote their products within the platform. This will improve the ad revenue of Reddit. Moreover, this will provide more ways for brands to market their services to the platform’s 300+ million active users.
  • While paid ads are a fast and surefire way to tap your audience on Reddit, organic interactions are still better at yielding leads. That said, it is best to focus on building genuine engagement. Better still, use a combination of both paid and organic approaches.

4. Changing Community Landscape

As previously discussed, Reddit has extensively diversified away from its root niche, which is mainly for techie and geeky topics. While it still caters to users interested in those subjects, the platform, as of December 2020, has more than 2.5 million subreddits and amassed 49.2 billion upvotes across various subjects (WebsiteBuilder, 2021), with the most upvoted post of 2020 being a photo of singer and living meme Rick Astley and the most talked-about issue being COVID-19 (The Verge, 2020).

Admittedly, most Reddit communities are still sticking to their roots. The site is the birthplace of many memes and viral content. That’s why it isn’t surprising that the subreddit r/funny has over 34 million subscribers (Redditlist, 2021). That’s second only to r/announcements, which contains the official announcements of Reddit.

Aside from that, the site is undergoing a variety of changes; some are even completely switching things up. One example of this is how the front page, or a slot in it, can be temporarily rented by brands. It’s not just that. Advertising on the platform, in general, has been revamped. As mentioned previously, promoted posts are now being mixed with regular posts, and there’s a safe space for ads as well, to name a few.

The interface has undergone a major overhaul too. In fact, as of 2019, Reddit has been beta testing its new interface (Reddit, 2019). It’s becoming more orange-y with a more vibrant header and background image. What’s more is they redesigned the icons, karma badge, and other elements of the platform as well. There are currently over 825,000 subscribers in this subreddit. If all goes well, this will be the new face that Redditors will have to get used to.

New Interface of Reddit

Reddit’s beta test of its new interface.

Changing community landscape key takeaways:

  • With its enormous growth, Reddit has diversified from its roots, meaning a lot of content types have been added to the site since its inception. This makes it easier for businesses to join the platform to promote their brand and interact with their target market.
  • Reddit modified its interface to include safe spaces for ads and designated front page slots for brands. That said, brands who are actively engaging on the platform should try to learn how to take advantage of these changes.
  • The changes in Reddit’s advertisement models are designed to benefit advertisers. This translates to more businesses being enticed into launching a marketing campaign on the site.

Many brands have been apprehensive of Reddit when it comes to advertising, and for a good reason. The platform isn’t exactly handling advertisements as well as other social networks are. Moreover, the majority of its user base is unwelcoming to ads and promotions.

Reddit’s structure is one where users can easily downvote ads, and admins have major control over subreddits. This laissez-faire approach seems intimidating. However, as previously mentioned, the platform is too big an opportunity to let slide simply.

The people behind the site are aware of this, as well. One look at Reddit’s traffic compared to others, and it’ll be clear. They’re lagging in terms of ad revenue.

Take Twitter, for instance. This social media platform has the same number of monthly active users as Reddit. In 2018, however, the latter only netted $76.9 million, while Twitter earned $655 million in the first quarter of the same year. Of course, the more popular sites’ ad revenues are even crazier in comparison. According to a CNBC report, Facebook pulled in $40 billion (CNBC, 2018) while Google raked in $95 billion.

To step up its advertising game, Reddit has made its site a more ad-friendly place. The approach is to address the issues that make marketers steer away from the site without, of course, isolating their users’ interests. Several business models have been on a roll since then.

For one, Reddit offers a spot for rent on the platform’s most coveted front page. It has also created the so-called “safe space” for advertisements, which is under the constant watch of the site’s personnel. They ensure that negative and toxic comments aren’t getting in the post. Moreover, Reddit is mixing promoted posts with normal posts. Engagement guidelines are available to assist marketers in their endeavors, as well.

So how has it been working for Reddit thus far? The results are remarkable. In 2019, the site bagged $119,000 (eMarketer, 2019) and, although its growth rate dropped from 40% to 27% due to COVID-19 at the first half of 2020, it had recorded an 83% increase in ad revenue over the already-impressive figure in 2019 (Wall Street Journal, 2020). It makes perfect sense for Reddit to continue this strategy moving forward.

Ad-friendly structure key takeaways:

  • Reddit’s user base is one of the biggest among social media sites. However, its unique community makes it a tough platform to crack for marketers and advertisers. Therefore, managing to promote a brand successfully there is a big help to a business’s marketing efforts.
  • Reddit developers have been taking steps to reel in more ads to its site. This means that more businesses, perhaps including some major brands, will start to make their presence known through the platform.

What Do These Reddit Trends Mean for Businesses?

Number-wise, Reddit is a goldmine for marketers. Its monthly traffic exceeds a billion. In terms of user base, it’s among the top three just after Facebook and Instagram. It has the same amount of active users as Twitter, but with a higher level of engagement.

However, the site’s structure is what’s making it a not-so-friendly environment for promoting brands and products. For starters, marketers are met with downvotes and unfriendly comments if they make one wrong move. That said, brands will need to invest lots of time and effort to build a genuine engagement with their target community.

The good news for companies, however, is that Reddit owners are slowly transforming the site to accommodate them. They’re taking a series of approaches. These include creating business models that will allow advertisers to safely and productively promote their brands.

Various businesses are already testing the waters with the new advertising opportunities on Reddit. Moreover, while the resistance from some Redditors is to be expected, the admins are adamant about pushing the advertising campaigns through. This means that we can expect more brands to expand their marketing efforts to Reddit in the coming years. And the results have been encouraging even with the presence of COVID-19.

If you’re planning to launch a campaign on Reddit, try reading our brand marketing guide. This would provide you with useful insights to assist in your marketing endeavors in the said platform, or anywhere else.

 

References:

  1. 109 ridiculous Reddit statistics & facts to know in 2020. (2021, February 8). WebsiteBuilder.org.
  2. Booth, C. (2018, May 30). Reddit surpasses Facebook to become the 3rd most visited site in the US. The Next Web.
  3. Campbell, I. C. (2020, December 8). Reddit’s top post of 2020 was a Rick Astley photo, posted by Rick Astley. The Verge.
  4. Castillo, M. (2018, July 5). Reddit — one of the world’s most popular websites — is trying to cash in through advertising. CNBC.
  5. eMarketer Editors. (2019, March 26). Reddit is on pace to more than double its ad revenues by 2021. Insider Intelligence.
  6. Immunology experts participate in Reddit AMA. (2021). The University of Manchester.
  7. Jamnik, M. R., & Lane, D. J. (2017). The use of Reddit as an inexpensive source for high-quality data. ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst.
  8. Kastrenakes, J. (2020, December 1). Reddit reveals daily active user count for the first time: 52 million. The Verge.
  9. Law, T. J. (2021, January 1). What is Reddit? The ultimate Quickstart guide for 2021. Oberlo.
  10. Patel, S. (2020, December 1). Reddit claims 52 million daily users, revealing a key figure for social-media platforms. WSJ.
  11. R/beta. (n.d.). reddit.
  12. Recent activity, subscribers, growth list. (n.d.). redditlist.
  13. Reddit.com competitive analysis, marketing mix and traffic. (2021). Alexa.
  14. Reddit.com traffic statistics. (2021, February). SimilarWeb.
  15. Social media stats United States of America. (2021, February). StatCounter Global Stats.
  16. Tankovska, H. (2021, January 20). Reddit users: Unique monthly visits 2019. Statista.
  17. Trafton, A. (2020, November 5). Using machine learning to track the pandemic’s impact on mental health. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Allan Jay

By Allan Jay

Allan Jay is FinancesOnline’s resident B2B expert with over a decade of experience in the SaaS space. He has worked with vendors primarily as a consultant in the UX analysis and design stages, lending to his reviews a strong user-centric angle. A management professional by training, he adds the business perspective to software development. He likes validating a product against workflows and business goals, two metrics, he believes, by which software is ultimately measured.

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