If you've been on Reddit, you're probably already aware of its unique personality and immense reach. If you're new to the site, where all the content is user-generated, divided into thousands of "subreddit" communities and democratically voted on, it will probably strike you as a lo-fi din of inane conversations and inscrutable acronyms.
Whether your fascinated by it, baffled by it, or both, the numbers show that Reddit, which is celebrating its 10th birthday, has established itself as a significant force on the web over the last decade. Here's a snapshot for dedicated redditors and n00bs alike:
-There are 36 million registered users on Reddit. They're known as redditors.
-They create all of the content on the site by posting and commenting on links, pictures, stories and questions.
-Reddit is a rare example of a true democracy. By "upvoting" or "downvoting" items they see on the site, redditors, not editors, determine the popularity of posts and the order in which they appear on the page. Redditors have clicked the upvote button over 16 billion times.
-The most upvoted posts of all time include:
- What tasty food would be disgusting if eaten over rice?
- This is Carter. He knocked on my door to ask if he could have a banana then left.
- Waterboarding at Guantanamo Bay sounds super rad if you don't know what either of those things are.
-Redditors have left a total of 1.7 billion comments. (One-third of one percent of those mention cats.)
-Reddit clocks 172 million unique visitors a month, putting it in line with Amazon.
-Yet the company runs on a lean staff of just 30 engineers. Being open source, many of the new features and bug fixes come from the users themselves.
-Reddit is known for its AMA ("ask me anything") discussions with famous people. President Barack Obama did an AMA in 2012. It is the second-most viewed post of all time, after an AMA titled "I am the guy with two penises," and above "What gif reduces you to hysterical laughter every time?"
-While we're on the subject of gifs: Reddit could be heavily credited for helping the animated images rise to Internet proliferation.
-The site has also saved lives. Three years ago, Bear Silber discovered that he had Cushing's syndrome by reading Reddit posts. One woman found a kidney donor on the site. And last month, something a commenter wrote made a Redditor realize he was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.