What we learned from our March 2015 survey

We ran a survey in over 100 different subreddits over the course of a week, and you gave us 16,817 responses from 175 countries. That’s crazy. Thank you all for your time and input.

(Especially those of you who took the time write open responses!)

Here are your collective thoughts.

90% overall satisfaction is pretty great.

Content seems good, but community, visual appeal, and ease of use need some work.

(That last sentence basically summarizes the rest of this document.)

There are five sections in this report.

What redditors like

Content, content, content

I can find anything there! Sometimes it even surprises me. I have a great laugh, see interesting topic, information or discussion every day and if anything happens, its on reddit first.

The latest news content that is important to the world ends up on the front page of reddit - with intelligent commentary. This means i don't have to read other news sites and get horribly depressed. Redditors provide a good swath of fairly intelligent feedback.

54% of new users joined for the content. 

  • 29% came for very specific content (for example, tv shows or gaming)
  • 24% liked the wide variety and volume of content

76% of “like” comments also focused on content.

When we asked what people like about reddit, they talked a lot about content variety, volume, originality, freshness, and quality.

Community

The community is probably the best the internet has to offer.

There's a subreddit for almost anything!

Reddit is a great place to go to be yourself, no matter what your like, dislike, or what, there's some place for everyone and I love that reddit allows that to happen.

  • 8% of newbies joined for community and discussions
  • 32% of what people liked about reddit reflected community

Some people appreciated being able to find like-minded thinkers, others appreciated the diversity of viewpoints. There were mixed feelings about “reddit culture,” mostly described as inside jokes and dank memes.

While many of you have found great communities, the common sentiment was that those great communities are the exception, not the norm. On a related note, help with discovery of relevant, good subreddits was one of our top feature requests. Maybe we just need to do a better job of getting people to all those good subreddits out there.

What could be better

For this section, we looked at answers to what people dislike about reddit, why some people are extremely dissatisfied, and why others might not recommend reddit.

Hateful community and content

There was much concern about an increasingly negative and unsafe community environment. Complaints ranged from dissatisfaction about the presence of hateful content

to the existence of specific communities and users—and how reddit addresses them.

50% of people who wouldn’t recommend reddit cited hateful or offensive content and community as the reason why. While they might like and enjoy reddit, they were concerned about at least one of two things in particular:

  • Exposing their friends to unpleasant content and users
  • Appearing to support or participate in such content by association.

This also came up in what people disliked about reddit (25% of comments), and why they were extremely dissatisfied (31%).

Many of the concerns about community dealt with gender or race. Females are twice as dissatisfied with reddit overall and almost twice as dissatisfied with the community.

Moderation and censorship

On the other hand, 35% of complaints from extremely dissatisfied users were about heavy handed moderation and censorship. This also came up in 10% of overall dislike comments.

Interface and ease of use

In lighter news, some users are unhappy with how reddit looks, how challenging it is to use, and how difficult it is to get started. These complaints comprised:

  • 20% of comments on “what you dislike about reddit”
  • 7% of feature requests (2% for UI, 5% for help using reddit)
  • 6% of reasons to be extremely dissatisfied
  • 3.5% of reasons not to recommend reddit

Feature requests

Improved search and subreddit discovery tied for the top spot.

Here are some others requests, loosely in order of popularity.

  • Chat rooms
  • Better browsing experience
  • Better mobile experience
  • More/faster action against reposts and bad actors
  • Better comment browsing
  • Better image/video browsing
  • RES features
  • More robust profile
  • Easier image and video posting

While we can’t make any specific promises about any of these things right now, we can say that we are definitely listening to you and using this feedback as we work on a lot of improvements throughout reddit.

Other tidbits 

This one is obvious, but interesting to see in data. Newer users who follow one subreddit adopt more subreddits over time, moving into the “follows subreddits” bucket. This applies both to people who just follow subreddits, and those who browse in addition to that. A certain set of users are happy just to browse forever without subscribing to any specific subreddits—even one.

recommend.png

Males are more likely to be recommending reddit “all the time,” whereas females are more likely not to.

The button came out in some of the feature requests. Some of you wanted another button press for r/thebutton. (Sorry, can’t help you there. What’s done is done.)

Snoo. As for things people liked about reddit, Snoo came out pretty well, although not everyone knew its name. Snoo will have to settle for being “little alien man” or just “the alien.”

Gender. For the “other” gender selection, we ended up with more unicorns and attack helicopters than actual trans or genderless entries. This made the data too muddy to use this time around, so we might go with specifying additional options in the future.

About the data

Who is represented by this data?

Mostly regular reddit users. 88% have a reddit account, 81% are male, 75% visit reddit multiple times a day. 175 countries, with about 50% of responses from the US, Canada, UK, and Australia.

How did you process all those open responses?

For most of these, we took a random subset of 500 responses and categorized them. Some people wrote impressive paragraphs with multiple points, in which they listed multiple likes or dislikes. In this case, we gave a tick for each category, rather than lose the data. Some questions had fewer than 500 responses. For example, we only had 111 responses to why people were extremely dissatisfied, so we categorized them all.