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What is Reddit? A beginner’s guide to using the front page of the internet

It doesn’t matter if you’re a tech-savvy internet warrior or an occasional web researcher. Chances are, if you’ve searched the web for answers for any topic, you’ve stumbled upon a website called Reddit.

It’s not just the place where viral content is born. It’s also a venue where questions are answered, debates are waged and community knowledge is shared. This website is where the internet hive mind is in full force and where unexpected and mind-blowing content constantly flows.

And if you’re thinking Reddit is an exclusive club where only the worthy can post and participate, think again. It’s open to everyone! Keep reading to find out how to sign up for an account, share images, videos and posts. We’ll even show you some of the best pages to get you started.

Reddit: The front page of the internet

Reddit is the self-described front page of the internet. It’s a huge community where tons of content is constantly shared, commented on and upvoted. With millions of active, users known as Redditors, any popular post can quickly snowball into the next internet phenomenon.

That latest viral video, meme or story you just saw? It probably was first shared on Reddit, upvoted and shared by thousands of Redditors, picked up by news outlets and spread around the web organically from there.

But that’s not just what Reddit is for. It’s also a good platform for opinion, conversations, debates, tips and advice. Redditors can also submit questions and the robust Reddit community will typically reply.

With its categories, topics and specific communities, called subreddits, Reddit is a great resource for essentially anything under the sun. From niche subjects to pop culture to tech, there’s always a subreddit that will cater to your tastes.

Ready to Reddit? Read on and we’ll show you how to sign up so you can start sharing and voting for content.

How to sign up for a Reddit account

Although an account is not necessary to browse Reddit’s most popular content, we recommend you sign up to get the most out of your Reddit experience.

This way, instead of being a lurker, you will be an official full-fledged Redditor. With an account, you can be a valuable contributor to the Reddit community by voting for content, leaving comments, subscribing to specific subreddits and sharing links, images or text.

Signing up for Reddit is very simple:

1. First, head to Reddit’s main page, then click on sign up in the upper right corner.

2. Enter your email address in the provided field. Click CONTINUE.

3. Choose a username and password. Tap or click here for help creating stronger passwords. Click the CAPTCHA box to prove you’re human and click Sign Up.

4. Finally, choose your areas of interest. These will be the subreddits you’ll be subscribed to. (Note: You will be automatically subscribed to the most popular subreddits.) Click FINISH. That’s it, you’re ready to Reddit.

Navigating Reddit

Navigating Reddit can be confusing for the beginner but you’ll get the hang of it no time. Reddit’s design is minimal, harking back to the early days of the web. When you land on its main page, you’ll be greeted with what looks like an endless message board.

Typically, Reddit’s front page features the most popular posts at any given time. These posts originate from the biggest categories (subreddits) on the site. You can also sort the front page and see new, trending and the most controversial posts.

To see where a particular post leads to — it could be a link to an article, video, image, etc. — just click on it. However, for most people, the best thing about Reddit is the comments section. If you find an interesting post, make sure you take your time scrolling through and reading the comments.

Reddit comments are a valuable resource and almost always give you further insight on a particular topic. If you want to be an upstanding member of the Reddit community, you can join discussions by leaving your own comments and by voting on them, too.

Now here’s where a Reddit account can also come in handy. Beyond the front page posts, you can customize your front page by subscribing to your own subreddits. If you have specific interests and hobbies, just type in a keyword in Reddit’s search bar to look for relevant subreddits you can subscribe to. (You can also unsubscribe anytime.)

So, where should you begin? Here are five great Subreddits. Click through and see which ones you enjoy.

  1. /AskReddit – Almost 30 million members. It’s the place to ask and get answers to thought-provoking questions. You could spend all day clicking through questions and answers here.
  2. /aww – Cute pictures and videos that, you guessed it, make you say “Aww!” Expect lots of cute animals.
  3. /gifs – This is one of the largest and most active pages, filled with content from across the web and the world. Expect new tech, art, natural disasters, viral videos and much more.
  4. /lifehacks – Clever solutions to life’s common problems.
  5. /getmotivated – Need a boost of inspiration? Browse, ask questions, get and give advice and find support in whatever it is you want to accomplish.
  6. /explainlikeimfive – You know those things you feel like you should know but you don’t? That’s where this subreddit comes in. Ask a question and get a friendly, simple explanation. No judgment!
  7. /ShowerThoughts – Where people turn to share all those lightbulb moments that hit you in the shower, like this: “If an electric toothbrush’s batteries run out, it can still be used for its original purpose.”
  8. /youshouldknow – Random knowledge, helpful tips and smart new ideas all in one place.
  9. /moviedetails – Are you a film lover? This subreddit is filled with hidden gems, trivia, fun facts and Easter eggs.
  10. /oddlysatisying – From perfectly intertwined animals to the surprisingly soothing process of ice being made (really!), this is a reprieve from all the junk on the internet.

Voting in Reddit

Now that you have a Reddit account and relevant subreddits you’re subscribed to, you can start posting content, leave comments and upvote/downvote other posts and comments.

Voting for an article or comment is easy. On every article or comment are up and down arrows. Simply click the up arrow to upvote and the down arrow to downvote.

This is how Reddit’s front page content is decided. If an article gets enough upvotes, it has a good chance of hitting the front page, amplifying its reach even further. Think of Reddit upvotes as similar to Facebook likes.

How to share on Reddit

Once you get the hang of navigating Reddit, you’re probably ready to share your own posts. It can be anything — an article you find relevant and interesting, an image or a video that you want everyone to see or even a simple text post.

To start sharing, click the Create Post near the top of the Reddit front page and the create a post window will open. It looks like this:

1. Sharing an article

To share an article, simply click on the Link tab on the Create a post page and paste the web address or URL of the article you wish to share.

For example, if you find an article on Komando.com that you’d like to share, just choose an appropriate community (subreddit), copy the article’s address, paste it into the box then hit POST.

2. Sharing an image or video

Sharing an image or video on Reddit follows similar steps. Click on the Image and Video tab, then simply drag and drop your file (or browse for it via the Upload button). Select your community (subreddit), type in a title then click POST.

(Note: Certain subreddits don’t allow images or videos.)

3. Sharing a post

Lastly, you can customize your own post and add links, images, and text (similar to a blog or a Facebook post.) Just click the Post tab and you’ll see the familiar visual web post editor. As usual, just click POST when you’re done.

That’s it, you’re now on your way to becoming a Reddit expert. Take some time to navigate around the site and find categories that interest you most. Like all interactive sites you’re bound to run into a troll or 200 but there’s enough great content on the site that it’s worth dealing with it.

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