You may think Reddit’s usefulness is limited to finding illegal streams of football matches or finding out what’s going to happen in the next episode of The Walking Dead. Maybe you use it to find breaking news about your favourite band or just lol at the hilarious GIFs plastered over Reddit’s front page. Perhaps you’ve never heard of Reddit at all, and have no desire to get involved. But with the new app, it’s never been easier, and sceptics should definitely give it a try.
The first thing to know about Reddit is that it’s basically a giant forum. Users post links or text posts, and people can comment on these. Crucially though, you can also upvote a post to the top of what’s called a subreddit (a section of Reddit devoted to a single topic) and the highest-rated of these can make their way all the way up to the front page. It’s like a weird, bubbling ecosystem, with a niche for everyone to get into. To make the most of it via the new app, you’ll need to find and subscribe to subreddits you like.
If you’ve got the Reddit app, you’ll find a ‘Discover’ button on the Communities tab. If you click that and scroll through the sections, you can find and subscribe to your interests. That way you’ll tailor your Reddit-browsing experience to all the topics you want to see – otherwise your front page will be pretty general. Here are a few we’d recommend…
/r/indieheads: Here you’ll find AMAs, where you can ask people like Mac DeMarco and Animal Collective questions, and discuss news and deep cuts with your fellow indie fans.
/r/hiphopheads: The three most successful posts ever on this subreddit are Kendrick Lamar songs. You’ll find fresh new tracks and news here.
/r/vinyl: More of a hobby reddit, the best this has to offer is often humour. For example – this brilliant Rickrolling prank.
/r/FanTheories: Looking to discuss stuff before it comes out, like most of the Star Wars fandom does? Here’s where you should be hanging out.
/r/TrueFilm: This one has AMAs, and has cool film-based topics of discussion. Plenty of news here too.
/r/Screenwriting: People looking for something more in-depth and behind-the-scenes should come here. One of its most popular posts is this analysis of hundreds of film specs, which is pretty revealing…
3. TV & Radio
/r/television: Pretty self-explanatory, this one. If you’re struggling for something to watch, this should give you a few ideas, as well as a place to talk about everything on telly.
/r/thewalkingdead and /r/gameofthrones: These both deserve a space of their own, because their communities are so buzzing. Plenty of fan theories, interesting bits of information and other trivia can be found in here.
/r/serialpodcast: Whatever season of the investigative podcast that you’re currently listening to, you can filter content that’s appropriate to you – and discuss every detail of Sarah Koenig’s audio gold.
/r/thesimpsons: A black hole of time and laughter. Enter at your peril.
/r/gifs: Outside of Tumblr, this is where the best gifs on the internet are born. Weirdly, this is its most successful post ever – Charlie the festive Venus Fly Trap.
/r/ShowerThoughts: Eg: “There should be confetti in tires so when there is a blow out it’s still kind of an okay day”
5. Life hacks
/r/Frugal: Want to keep hold of all the money you’re not spending on vinyl? Get your frugal hacks right here.
/r/DIY: More of a competitive subreddit, this one – it’ll motivate you to start doing some work of your own.
/r/GetMotivated: This one sounds a bit try-hard, but it actually contains things like this post, currently the fourth most successful ever on Reddit, which give you a new perspective on things.
Before you dive in, here are a few coded phrases commonly used by Redditors, for people who don’t spend much time on the interwebs:
TIL = Today I Learned
IAmA/AMA = I am a ___ – Ask Me Anything
OC = Original content
OP = Original poster
ITT = In this thread
TL;DR = Too long; didn’t read. Used to sum up a long swathe of text.
Upvotes = Equivalent to Facebook likes. Beware though: stuff can be downvoted on Reddit too.
Karma = Your virtual ‘points’ system for Reddit, which adds your upvotes for posts and comments.