How to Tell if a Reddit Post Is Popular

Reddit is an American content rating, social news aggregation, and discussion website. Boasting hundreds of millions of users, Reddit is one of the most renowned websites globally. Content on the website follow a rating system where other users “upvote” or “downvote” the content. Contents with several upvotes are considered popular. 

How to know if a post is popular 

There are varying degrees of popularity with regard to a post on Reddit. These degrees are measurable through different but similar metrics.

Hot posts

Each Reddit post has a score which is basically the ratio of upvotes to downvotes. Reddit’s “hotness” algorithm then employs this score together with the post’s lifespan to rank posts on Reddit.

As a result, the most common method to determine if a post is popular is if it is in the “Hot posts” segment of the relevant subreddit. The posts with the highest upvotes will appear at the top of the community in which they were posted. However, this is not the case if the subreddit’s moderator has pinned a post.

Hot posts segment of the relevant subreddit
Hot posts segment of the relevant subreddit


However, if a post gets popular enough, it makes it to the front page of Reddit – r/all.  r/all collates the popular posts from most of Reddit. The exact method for determining how a post gets picked up by r/all is unknown to prevent manipulation. However, the essential factors are the post’s age and score. If your post makes its way to r/all, it is, by all means, a popular post.

r/all to view the most popular posts from Reddit
r/all to view the most popular posts from Reddit


Another way to determine the popularity of a post is whether the post is on the aptly named subreddit, r/popular. The subreddit is a result of Reddit admins trying to fix an issue they observed with r/all. 

According to the announcements, default subreddits were receiving a disproportionate amount of traffic, making it difficult for new users to see the rest of Reddit. As a result, they introduced r/popular to enable more communities to reach Reddit’s front page. Not all posts get to r/popular, including NSFW and 18+ communities; communities that have opted out of r/all; and a handful of subreddits that users consistently filter out of their r/all page.

r/popular to determine the popularity of a post
r/popular to determine the popularity of a post

Popularity on the r/all and r/popular pages is very short-lived as age is vital in determining a post’s hotness. Because of this and many other factors, a post may be popular in its home subreddit but not in the grand scheme of Reddit. 

How to make a popular post

Making a popular post on Reddit requires planning, attention to detail, and luck. These factors scale exponentially if you wish to get to r/all or r/popular. Here are some of the essential steps in making a popular post:

Select an interesting topic

The most fundamental aspect of any popular post is that it is interesting, at least to the post recipients. A post’s hotness largely depends on its score, and users determine the score by upvoting – or downvoting – the post. Naturally, users will upvote a post if they find it interesting. 

It is also essential that your topic is relevant to the subreddit where you are posting it. You do not want to post a cute cat picture in r/Soccer. Ensure that your target audience comprises the sort of persons that will find what you intend to post interesting. This is easier in subreddits that discuss specific topics like r/Eminem or r/Barca.

Ensure your content is factual

This is essential because false posts are often aggressively downvoted, effectively killing off their popularity chances. It may be helpful to provide links to the source in the post’s body or as a comment under the post. However, if you are unsure of the authenticity of what you intend to post, you may put up a disclaimer.

Make the post at the correct time

This is vital as the timing of the post matters. The older a post is, the unlikelier it is to get – or remain – popular. According to research by Randy Olsen, a “12-hour-old post needs roughly three times the score to match the hotness of a 6-hour-old post”. 

Because of this limitation, it is necessary to time your posts to ensure you make it at a point of peak – or near peak – activity. If you make your post while most users are asleep, it is unlikely to receive as much attention – and activity – as a post made during high activity.

An offshoot of this is to take note of the prevailing time zone of the relevant subreddit. If you live in the US and your target audience is the r/casualUK subreddit, you may be as much as 6-8 hours behind. Factor this into your guesstimate of the peak activity period, knowing that at 6 pm, many members of your audience are fast asleep.

Size of the community

This precaution is necessary if you wish for r/all or r/popular to pick your post. Because the number of upvotes (relative to downvotes) influences the post’s score, getting as many upvotes as possible is essential. 

It is only natural that posts within a community like r/pics with more than 10 million users will have posts with higher scores than those in communities like r/Barca with about a hundred thousand users. 

Reddit for marketing

The possibility of post virality, coupled with the niche-community nature of Reddit, makes the website a target for marketing Reddit marketing. One of the benefits of leveraging Reddit marketing is that you already have an audience, specifically, a niche audience. 

This benefit makes Reddit unique from other social media platforms as you require focusing on building a target audience before you begin to market. Reddit already provides you with a target market. 

Reddit also allows prospective marketers to position themselves strategically to gain media coverage. This is as various media platforms hunt for pre-tested news on Reddit, so if your content scales through Reddit, it has a good chance of being picked by a media platform.

There are several tools that can help you leverage Reddit – and other social media platforms – for your marketing needs. For example, you can employ the social listening tool; Notifier to help you keep track of important keywords on Reddit. 

Get Notified when keywords you care about are mentioned on Reddit, Twitter and so much more!