So far, we've explained what Reddit is and how it works, as well as how Reddit's premium subscription service -- Reddit Gold -- works. Now, we'll take a detailed look at Reddit's virtues and flaws. Hopefully, they'll help you decide if Reddit is the place you want to go to find out and discuss what's happening on the Internet right now... or if you should read somewhere else.
Free to use and join -- You can see most of what there is to see on Reddit without needing to sign up for an account. If you feel like getting in on the action, though, registering for an account is fast, doesn't require a lot of personal information (just your email address), and -- best of all -- it's free!
Keeping it simple -- Reddit's main interface is pretty sparse, but in some ways, that's a good thing. Most functions on Reddit are straightforward once you know how they work, and there aren't a lot of flashy distractions that would cause you to get lost within the website.
A hot topic for every occasion -- Reddit is a massive website where people can share and discuss almost anything. Whether you're into animals, technology, sports, politics, jokes, movies, or whatever else, chances are good that there's a "subreddit" where people are talking about what you're interested in!
Simplicity comes with constraints -- In part because of Reddit's simple design, some of its features are a bit restrictive or technical to use. For example, you can only post one kind of content (text, picture, or hyperlink) at a time. Also, you have to use special codes if you want to give your text special effects, or use the search functions to their fullest capability.
How free is free speech? -- Reddit has a bit of a reputation as an "anything goes" sort of website. Sure, it has rules and moderators that have been cutting down on deliberately offensive material over the years, but not all material on Reddit is free of controversy (or "safe for work", as they put it). Fortunately, you can avoid most of this material through your settings and search parameters.
Reddit is one of the most popular social networks of its kind, rivalling even the likes of Facebook. It was built on the principle of giving the power back to Internet users to openly share and discuss what news and stories mattered to them, instead of having content filtered through the editorial boards of mainstream news institutions. To that end, Reddit's simple design lends itself to quick and easy navigation, search, and posting of content. This, in turn, has aided Reddit in expanding into a website where you can find a forum on almost any topic to share and discuss news and stories about. Best of all, Reddit is free, whether you want to contribute stories and comments or just play the part of the interested observer.
Reddit isn't perfect by any means, though. While its minimalist interface is one of its strengths in some ways, it also makes certain functions (such as searching Reddit) a bit tricky to use without a bit of technical knowledge. And while Reddit has made an effort to curb deliberately offensive content or comments on its website, it is still committed to principles of free speech, and allows material that some people may find controversial.
Some people may love Reddit, and find it liberating to freely read about and discuss topics that interest them alongside people who share those interests. There is, after all, a "subreddit" on Reddit for almost every niche imaginable, from random thoughts to pictures of gorgeous natural environments to news stories that are almost too bizarre to be true. Other people, however, may find Reddit only mildly interesting, due to its simple design, lack of functionality, and content scheme driven by mostly younger Internet users (i.e. between the ages of 18 and 29).
Maybe the best way to figure out if you'll like Reddit or not, though, is to actually visit it and explore it. It costs you nothing to do so, and if you like what you see, getting involved in one of the largest social news forums on the Internet doesn't come with a price tag, either! If you want in on the ground floor of Reddit, we'll walk you through setting up a Reddit account in our next tutorial.
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