Reddit's traffic is surging amid the coronavirus pandemic as more people turn to online communities
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- An Adweek report revealed that Reddit has experienced a recent surge in traffic amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
- People are turning to Reddit and other social media networks as a source of information about the pandemic but also as a means of finding online community.
- Reddit, along with companies like Google and Facebook, recently published a joint statement detailing their commitment to limiting the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus.
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As significant chunks of the worldwide population adopt social distancing measures, many are turning to online spaces to ease the lack of social contact.
A recent report from Adweek reveals that Reddit has experienced a "surge" in traffic. While the company did not provide Adweek with exact numbers, Reddit noted an increase in direct traffic to the site (not including search engine or referral traffic) as well as increased growth on the Reddit mobile application on iOS and Android.
Reddit has been one of the social networks at the forefront of coronavirus discussion and information dissemination, sometimes doing too little to prevent the spread of misinformation.
The r/coronavirus subreddit, which Reddit promotes to users on its front page as a destination for coronavirus information, has essentially doubled in size in the past two weeks - the subreddit had approximately 600,000 users on March 6 and currently reports over 1.2 million. It is the second top-growing community on Reddit.
Adweek also reported that Reddit noted traffic increases of 20-50% on subreddits - individual forums and communities of interest on the site - related to business, finance, news, education, travel, and sports. That tracks given that much of online coronavirus chatter circles back to personal finance, school closures, and the cancelation of sports seasons.
However, coronavirus is now pervasive in all corners of Reddit.
Teenagers who are stuck at home fire off memes about the virus on r/teenagers, the immensely popular r/AmItheAsshole has put a full ban on coronavirus posts, and locally specific subreddits like r/AskNYC or r/korea are full of posts and questions regarding the pandemic in their community.
Subreddits like r/AmateurBoxing, r/family, and r/starbucksbaristas dominate the site's list of up-and-coming communities, speaking to concerns like maintaining fitness at home, navigating bonds with family members as quarantine sets in, and the fears of service workers as their company prevents them from social distancing.
As the pandemic drives people online for information and community, moderation is more important than ever. Reddit, along with Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Twitter, published a joint statement on Tuesday detailing their commitment to limiting the spread of misinformation about the virus.
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