Disclaimer I made many assumptions based on my analysis of the data. It is possible that it could be biased or subjective. If you have any corrections or additions, please let us know in the comments.
Now let’s get on with the task at hand. Time your posts! To increase your reach and get more upvotes. Reddit isn’t a popular social media platform like Instagram or Facebook. Reddit is a social media platform that’s mostly anonymous, where people can form communities. Why would you want your post to appear on the first page? I can think of a few options.
- You are a bot, and your goal is to control people’s minds and spread false propaganda.
- You are looking for validation. The community will give you upvotes.
- Your “meme”, a product advertisement disguised, would bring you more sales if it made it onto the front page.
Now we have a reason to make it to the top, and the only thing left is how to do it. This was made much easier by using my analytical skills and visualizations. This would only give you a marginal advantage, but it is important to remember that this will not make your post stand out. Your post won’t succeed if it isn’t useful enough to the community.
As a prerequisite, it is important to know Reddit and its userbase. Reddit is mostly populated by North Americans (45%). The most popular subreddits, such as r/tech and r/dankmemes are also reflective of this user composition. These subreddits’ content is what most often makes it onto r/all. This analysis will only focus on the process of making it onto the front page from these popular subreddits.
This data was collected using the PRAW package as well as the push shaft. soap. is the scrapper I wrote. Over 100,000 instances were collected during 3 weeks beginning December.
Reddit uses UTC timezone for all analysis.
We will be investigating the data of r/dankmemes. It has more than 1.5 million subscribers, and it receives over 3000 memes per day. Its peak is on weekends when it reaches 5200. On Wednesdays, it reaches its lowest point. It seems that we can easily, to a certain extent, use the insights we have gathered on this subreddit to generalize them to the Reddit popular section.
This is normal. This is normal. People are more active on weekends than during the week. During the work week, people are too tired to vote and make memes.
Don’t let this fool you, although a post gets around 600 upvotes, 90% of posts receive fewer upvotes and don’t make it to the front page. 20 percent of posts get less than one upvote.
Time Series Analysis
Let’s take a look at some trends that occur every day. Here is where things get interesting. I made some assumptions about why they are so. Please comment in the comments section if you have any questions.
We can see that the time series graph shows a downward trend with a threefold decrease in content posts. This is where the platform’s country demography becomes extremely important. Reddit is too young to be active in North America for the majority of its users.
The frequency of shitposting increases from around 1 to 10 pm. It is reasonable to assume that people have more energy and time to create and post things later in the day.
The average number of upvotes per day is higher during the morning and afternoon. This counterintuitively negates the sharp rise in upvote shop for posts during this time. It quadruples for posts, even though most of Reddit is inactive. This is because people want more content, but it isn’t enough. I believe this is because a large portion of content creators (North Americans) are either asleep or on their morning commute. However, the demand for content remains constant due to other parts of the internet being active during this period.
- Reddit has a distinct content gap that must be filled during the 5 AM to 1 PM UTC frame. This is because while the global demand for content remains constant, a large portion of content creators aren’t very active.
- If you post during the depression period, you have a better chance of getting upvotes. This is because you can fill in the content needs for 50% of the world. You can also statistically quadruple your post’s reach.
- Posting at night is most popular because there are more posts than demand, but enough traffic to consume them.
We can again see that the count is increasing after the partial 6-hour content deadline, which indicates that people aren’t being productive at work.
The consensus? These trends could be used to optimize your Reddit posts’ timing, but I would ignore them and focus on creating original, entertaining, and informative content that will get attention regardless of the time of day.
I have done a more thorough analysis of the data in my original Notebook. You can check it out, and then adapt my scrapper to any subreddit to gain insight and let me know about the fun things you discover! If you have any cool ideas, please leave them in the comments section.