What Reddit loves
Reddit is a treasure trove of content and it’s hard to imagine that someone would be unable to find a topic that would capture their interest on the site.
But, while there is certainly an element of there being something for everyone on Reddit, there is then a big jump in terms of what users of the site actually love and find popular.
Across the site, there is definitely a sense that videos, gifs and images have mass appeal, irrespective of the actual category the post falls into. But, when you look closer at the categories, there are some subtle differences in what content is popular.
The topic which appears to have the broadest subject matter when it comes to posts is sports.
Starting with soccer, in particular, there is a wide mix of videos, gifs and images which are popular, but you will also find that news stories figure highly in what people want to read and look at.
Take the recent controversy at Fifa, for instance. The bulk of the popular news posts on Reddit concern what has been happening at world soccer’s governing body. You had the arrests of officials featuring prominently, the re-election of Sepp Blatter as president, his subsequent decision to tender his resignation, along with the Chuck Blazer testimony to catch your attention.
But it is not just news articles which gain traction with Reddit users when it comes to soccer. One element which is always going to feature prominently on Reddit is videos of goals. These can be wonder goals that make you go ‘wow’ or goals which have a funnier angle to them, such as crazy own goals. There are also those funny moments which occur on the pitch, such as collisions between two players, or even the referee, which are popular.
When it comes to gifs and images, recent examples which have proved popular across the world were when Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic met a child before a European Qualifier. The child’s reaction at seeing Ibrahimovic was priceless as he looked up at the player in a state of awe and amazement. Jamaican player Deshorn Brown grabbing a selfie with Argentina superstar Lionel Messi also proved popular. Fans taking selfies with soccer players, or soccer players taking a selfie with team-mates, are, if not quite run of the mill events, understandable occurrences. But a player taking a selfie with an opposition player, even if it is Messi, is not the norm and that is why it can be such a popular post on Reddit. Anything which has a more unusual or unexpected element to it is going to prove popular. There was also the incredible staged photo to mark Zenit St Petersburg’s recent title triumph in the Russian league which was a top post. As I say, the more unusual the better.
Other sports follow a similar pattern to soccer, albeit without having quite the same reach. This is understandable given the way soccer appeals across the globe, whereas certain other sports have pockets of appeal around the world.
Looking at rugby union, with the World Cup starting in September, there is going to be an increase in interest and posts. Its traditional heartland is Britain, France and parts of the Southern Hemisphere, along with areas in North and South America. The content of the rugby union posts on Reddit reflects that, but it’s going to be interesting to see how this may change once the World Cup draws nearer and actually starts. A World Cup in most sports is often a way for that sport to attract new followers and devotees, and the variety of content you have on Reddit can help in this aspect.
One article which proved popular in rugby union recently was a discussion about why South Africa will or won’t win the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup. South Africa will go into the World Cup with odds of around 5/1 to win and such a topic is an easy way to prompt discussion between South African supporters and the wider rugby union community. It also provides an example of a post which can be employed to prompt other users to start off discussion threads. You can use the same question to generate debate over the chances of New Zealand, Australia, England etc.
Major news stories will also feature high up in Reddit categories. The death of former New Zealand international Jerry Collins and his wife in a car crash was a story which drew people to it. The nature of the story is one that draws people in and gives them a chance to express their condolences and sympathy.
Historical moments in sport also provide a backdrop for posts on Reddit. One of the most popular posts in rugby union in the past month was a video of former New Zealand player Jonah Lomu scoring a try against England. It was to mark 20 years since the day of the try which came at the 1995 World Cup in South Africa. Lomu was renowned for his physicality as well as skill as a player, and the way he goes past Tony Underwood, Will Carling and Mike Catt was a sight to behold. These sort of memorable and famous tries will generally get a good reaction on Reddit.
New Zealand will always be popular from a video point of view and not just because of the quality and flair they bring to the game. The Haka, which is performed before each international match, is one of the most awe-inspiring sights in sport and there are countless examples of it being performed for people to watch on Reddit.
Major news stories also score well with Reddit users. The Golden State Warriors winning the NBA Finals and Jordan Spieth winning the US Open for his second Major triumph of the year are examples of straight stories which play well with Reddit users. But then there are associated posts on the back of that, such as a thread about the success of Under Armour’s clients this year. Both Stephen Curry of Golden State and Spieth are Under Armour clients and this was a topic for discussion.
Of course, it’s not just sports which feature prominently on Reddit. There is a vast range of other topics, with music and films also a rich source of content.
The music category will regularly feature music streaming as popular posts, but one news article which has been creating a lot of buzz is the Taylor Swift row regarding Apple Music’s payment policy. An article regarding Swift’s comments about Apple Music’s policy about paying artists during a trial period, after she withheld her album 1989 from the service, attracted well in excess of 3000 comments. Further articles relating to the story also proved popular with Reddit users.
In the movies section, there is less of a reliance on audio/visual content for reads and comments in comparison to music. You will find examples of movie trailers featuring on Reddit, especially where the biggest summer blockbusters are concerned, but this section allows for plenty of space and room for debate and discussion. Posts which invite comments by simply asking a question are popular in this section. So, you’ve got questions such as ‘What was the best film you saw this week?’ and ‘What movies do you rate 10/10?’ which are particularly inviting to answer and, at the same time, provide the scope to be repeated on a regular basis. With the Star Wars franchise preparing for another instalment, posts related to that movie and its various sequels and prequels are popular, along with timely features, such as one to celebrate 50 years of James Bond.
The James Bond films, in particular, are noted for their use of gadgets and the gadgets section on Reddit is regularly worth a browse. Modifications on cars have been regular features in James Bond movies – there was the underwater car in The Spy Who Loved Me and, in The Man With The Golden Gun, there was the car which turned into a mini-aeroplane. Well, one of the most popular posts in the gadget area on Reddit recently has been about AeroMobil: Flying Car. The article which told you all about it, and subsequent articles discussing the reaction to the invention, were attracting comments.
A couple of the more informative areas of Reddit are the gaming and fitness sections.
Starting with the gaming section, this features plenty of reviews and screengrabs from games. With such a large, interactive community connected to gaming, reviews of the latest games prove popular with Reddit users. There are also discussions and threads about retro games for people to dredge up the memories of the games they used to play growing up. And, of course, there’s also the odd question to ask if people have got any cheats that can be used on the latest games.
The fitness section is an area of Reddit where you really open up the possibility of engaging with other users. There are many threads on this page which ask questions about the best way to get fit, as a basic example, to more in-depth questions on how to train for certain events, or the best diet you should be on to get in the right shape for a certain event. People also post on their progress when they follow certain fitness regimes and there is a camaraderie to this section where people can encourage each other to improve and get fitter.
Another section which allows Reddit users to compare notes is the food category. This also combines a strong visual element to it as well, as people post pictures of the food they have conjured up. Cakes and desserts are particular favorites on Reddit, and these images do have a greater visual appeal than just looking at a piece of uncooked steak! But it should not just be viewed as a section where people are simply showing off their recipes or how good a cook they are. There are plenty of examples of where people have gone wrong when trying to make something. There’s also the informative aspect as well of where you can find certain types of food in shops, or when people have stumbled upon a new treat in a café. Maybe it could be viewed as a subliminal form of promotion or advertising, but food aficionados are always eager to latch on to a hot new café or bakery where they can discover new tastes.
And let’s not forget that some of the most fun on Reddit can be found in areas which do not actually require much in the way of interaction with other users. It’s just a post which grabs your attention, makes you laugh or makes your jaw drop, and that’s all you need. You have been entertained and there is nothing else to say.
Take the earthporn section. Some of the photographs which are posted in this section feature some of the most breathtaking places in the world. Often, you’ll find that they are places which you may not have heard of as well. Pictures of Akaka Falls and Eibsee Lake have recently proved to be popular, for example, and you can see why when you take a moment to look at them. The images can certainly have an educational value as well as they can set you off on a journey to discover more about the place and maybe even consider a holiday.
If you want to have your mind boggled, then the creepy section is a must visit on Reddit. Here, there is a huge variety of strange images which push the boundaries of logic and plausibility at times. They are not creepy in the sense of scaring you, but more in terms of freaking you out.
The funnies section of any website is always going to be immensely popular and this section on Reddit is one of the most popular for people uploading their own jokes or funny images. One of the most popular posts of late was via a husband posting a picture of his wife sunbathing when she was supposed to be working on her novel. You’ve also got regular posts of funny and amusing signs.
So, whether you want to be informed, entertained, educated, or just made to laugh, there will be something on Reddit to grab your attention. And you can play your own role in helping something to become popular.