If you follow financial news, you may have heard about Reddit making waves in the stock market. Or maybe you’ve seen memes talking about “stonks” or “going to the moon”. No, these aren’t about the new NASA Perseverance rover (which is on Mars), these are insider jokes about the stock market, fueled by Reddit and its users.
What Is Reddit?
Reddit (pronounced as “read it” as in – I read it on the internet) is a social media website that bills itself as “the front page of the internet” and it is essentially a massive collection of forums where people share personal stories, news and other content, with users commenting on other people’s posts.
According to Alexa, Reddit is the 7th most visited site in the United States. There are over a million communities, also known as subreddits. These subreddits can be about anything and everything, from the simple and straightforward like world news and politics to the more perplexing such as pictures of bread stapled to trees.
Who uses Reddit?
According to Reddit there are over 52 million daily active Reddit users. They tend to be younger, male, and reside in the United States. However, considering the nature of message boards and forums, many “users” may not be actively participating in the discussions happening and are instead simply consuming the content.
Why is Reddit in the news?
In the past several weeks, Reddit has been in the headlines of the financial news due to a subreddit known as WallStreetBets. Users from this community have caused the stock price of several companies, most notably, the chain video game store GameStop, to soar well above projections and expectations.
The market mayhem caused by the intensely rapid rise of GameStop stock is having many incredible effects, including an SEC investigation, and stories of overnight millionaires. The frenzy has also caused children, to become more interested in learning about the US stock market.
The interest in the Reddit community and the users of the WallStreetBets subreddit is often framed as a David vs. Goliath narrative, with the general public, also known as retail investors, going up against the establishment, represented by Hedge Funds. This battle is ongoing as the market keeps a close eye on these so-called “meme stocks”.
The Future of Reddit
Since its founding in 2005, Reddit has grown from a niche website for “webheads”, into a widespread and diverse international community that often draws the attention of individuals like Elon Musk and former President Barack Obama. The website has survived the wandering attention span of the internet culture for over a decade. Reddit users seem dedicated to their communities and subreddits so it seems as though this lesser known social media website will continue to fight for your attention and bandwidth.