What constitutes a ‘Reddit Alternative’?
In my eyes essentially a community where you can post content, have discussions, and feel a sense of community. Reddit may be the undisputed champion when it comes to sheer numbers but there’s a lot of viable alternatives worth checking out.
Campus Society www.campussociety.com
This is purely aimed at university and college students so this won’t be of any appeal those who aren’t attending. You’re grouped into channels where you can instant chat / post content with other students in your classes and university. This went live on Monday so it’s very new in beta but there’s also groups you can join similar to subreddits where you can chat / post and it’s proving popular in London for a way of meeting new people who are at your university but haven’t met yet.
It doesn’t rely on upvotes / likes to determine user score but a ‘GPA’ system which goes up if users respond well to you and down if you’re inactive over a long period of time or get reported by other users.
Full disclosure I’m part of the team here but if you have any questions I’m happy to answer them! (If your university isn’t featured let me know and I can check that out)
Stacksity – www.stacksity.com
I think the concept of Stacksity is pretty great.
it’s really simple looking but it’s obviously well put together. Subreddits here are ‘stacks’ and while these stacks aren’t moderated the better content does rise to the top and you can explore various areas fairly easily once you have an account and subscribe to those that you’re into.
On the landing page though you can only view the one piece of content so I can see why some people aren’t a fan of browsing it because it’s very image centric in a similar fashion to Tumblr.
However nothing gets removed as far as I can tell and it’s new so we should really cut it some slack and see how it grows. I’m looking forward to seeing how it expands.
I must admit I do find the $ prefixing everything fairly obnoxious though.
Voat – www.voat.co
Voat is essentially the biggest Reddit clone – and that’s OK. They have a karma system and the community is nice and welcoming and very open to discussion. It’s very basic looking and if you’re familiar with how Reddit works you’ll be familiar with Voat works.
They get a lot of grief for being down often but it’s run by a small but dedicated team who take donations to try and keep the servers up so it’s rather admirable that they’re doing as well as they are as whenever Reddit messes up people throw it around to immediately jump ship.
It’s fun and fairly light though and as they’ve got investors looking into them it seems that Voat may actually become a viable alternative in the future.
Snapzu is a much more polished looking link aggregator than your average Reddit clone.
You can post ‘snaps’ which are links/content to various channels that they call ‘tribes’ and it has a wide variety of subjects for you to explore. There’s a rep system which accumulates over time with titles for you to get – but it does mean that those who have signed up earlier get more perceived clout than those that are new. At the moment you have to request an invite to join BUT they tend to dish those out quickly enough.
I have to say though it’s not as…strongly opinionated as Reddit which is a good and a bad thing as it lends to very passive comments in the default spaces. However the community does have a lot of passion and love for the platform and personality is formed over time and I imagine that this will change as it grows.
An app based community however it’s on the otherside of the coin. While Wechat is a hyperactive platform where you use your real name etc this is much more private scene which uses anonymous posting.
They’re not likely to go down anytime soon though because their infrastructure does not rely on a centralised server setup but p2p. Their goal originally was simply to be a purely anonymous reddit so if you’re privacy orientated this might be interesting for you but as it’s links and not images etc most people might not find it that interesting – especially as it’s in dire need of content and as anyone can pretend to be you it’s hard to build any sense of community.
Yik Yak www.yikyakapp.com
An interesting concept but the execution leaves something to be desired for the most part. It being app based only is a bit of a downside in my eyes too.
Recent changes have improved the flow of conversation though which is good as you can identify who you’re responding to and the community has taken steps to help cut down on abuse which was a problem early on. Yaks with -5 are deleted so the community polices itself.
Yaks are text based though and very short form so this might not appeal to everyone but it can be rather lighthearted and interesting for localised content. There’s no images or links however.
The Student Room www.thestudentroom.co.uk
This is an old school forum really primarily focused on UK students but it’s got a wonderfully dedicated moderation team and a strong core community who are extremely helpful. Like most forums it is broken down into a wide variety of subjects/interests and users build rep through going their posts liked etc.
It’s rather solid but it is definitely focused more on the UK student crowd so this won’t appeal to anyone in the U.S unless you’re curious to know about the state of affairs here.
Stumble Upon www.stumbleupon.com
This is how I found Reddit originally about 5 years or so ago.
Stumble Upon is rather simple in its approach but it’s a great way to view all types of content. Simply signup, select your interests, then click the Stumble button and it’ll randomly select you a tagged page/article/video based on what you selected. The community isn’t really that big on commenting and what not, per se, but there is certainly something very addictive about clicking that button for new content.
Honestly I had so much love for this website I fear to go back.
Hacker News news.ycombinator.com
This one is more for the tech-oriented crowd and despite the overly abused ‘hacker’ title it’s a great site for keeping in the loop with changes in the tech industry and for new and upcoming sites and startups.
After /r/technology took a tumble in quality I ended up just going back to Hacker News for quite awhile to be frank as it’s simple, practical, and the community is very informed and helpful. It can be quite severe to ‘fanboys’ though so be careful not to show any discernable love for anything at all.
However my favourite thing about HN is purely the amount of content that I can view at a glance.
Product Hunt www.producthunt.com
This is a dedicated community focused on sharing and talking about the latest apps and startups. It’s invite only if you want to discuss/post but you can vote until PH decide you’re worthy of commenting. Some people complain of them being a tad elitist but I’ve met the team firsthand and they’re pretty dedicated to focusing purely on making a platform that’s about showcasing the latest and greatest.
Recently they’ve added ‘Games’ as a section so you can also see what games of note are worth playing or at least keeping an eye on too.
Though it does get a bit dull seeing the same people leaving comments and the discussion can be pretty thin. You also have to sign up using Twitter if you do want to vote.
I’m expecting a bit (see lot) of flak for suggesting Tumblr but if you stay away from the echochambers of angry ranty people and explore some of the more popular tags you’ll find that there’s a whole wealth of quality content worth reading.
They’re more into their TV/Film fandoms and so if you’re not able to stomach that kind of thing you might want to pass but for lighthearted content it’s not that bad. It’s also got the NSFW content down so if you’re looking for organised adult stories and pictures it has your back there.
Personally the community is not to my liking but it’s a viable alternative that while hated on will more than likely have something that will cater to your taste. I tend to also find that the community of Tumblr is overtly partial to hyperbole and incredibly specious reasoning but there we go.
Just bewarned that /r/shittytumblrgifs exists for a reason.
I really liked Newsvine but since it has been picked up by ABC though I’m not entirely sure how I feel but hey let’s plod on regardless. It focuses on linking out news but it’s nowhere as extreme as /r/worldnews and the community is rather interested in current events providing they are American or controversial.
Discussion is small/limited however so you really have to put some effort in to generate discussion but it can certainly be worth it if quality and not quantity of replies work for you.
Commenters however do tend to lean either far left or far right with little middle ground so keep that in mind.
I really dig how Frizbee are with anonymity and theirgeneral mission. Their mods are vocal but friendly but best of all they’re against censorship and really want to see their community grow in line with that.
Which pretty much lends well to open discussion. They’re in beta and while the site could do with some fine tuning it’s a great experience despite the lack of polish.
Reddit Contact: /u/compute_
It can be a little messy though as the default page throws everything into “Any” as opposed to a space, which function like subreddits, but I kinda do like that as it reminds me of how /r/all used to be.
Seriously though props to this guy if it’s just the one person as it’s really well done.
The concept behind this is rather cool.
It works like a virus. When you create a post (card), it goes to several users closest to you physically, they could spread it further to next several users (if they like it) or not spread it. So basically interesting and relevant things can spread all over the world.
I’ve not had much chance to play around with this much but I’ll definitely come back and explore it in more detail.
Reddit contact: /r/plag_network/
Fairly clean and responsive reddit clone with a small but friendly enough community.
Signup is encouraged to manage your personal feed (similar to Reddit) and the default feed is selected posts to appear from various subreddits in the same as Reddit.
A polish Reddit.
I was asked to include this by a Polish Redditor so I thought I’d link it in case it was useful for anyone else but to be frank I can’t tell you anything about it firsthand.
Hubski quite a lot of support in /r/redditalternatives for a good reason.
Decent content, good community, and stable enough so you don’t have to worry about downtime too much.
It’s very minimal and I quite enjoy that – the lightweight look has a lot going for it when it comes for consumption of content but being a Brit in his late twenties there’s not a lot going on for me here day to day.
Reddit Contact: /u/theNgreen
It’s like a moderator-less Reddit but with a BitCoin/voting relationship that I don’t fully understand beyond the fact that you earn a few bitcoins every time you upvote something.
I don’t know how that’s going to play out in the long run but what I do know is that Empeopled does have an active commenting community who are very much invested into seeing the site grow.
Which as a community manager I think is awesome – it’s always good to see an active online community actively discussing the site and plans for the future.
The site features a level up system too so over time you gain more experience based on your posting/interaction and these are tied to topics (subreddits) you’re active in.
Yet another Reddit clone.
In all honesty the community here is going to have to grow before we see any real sense of personality as it’s all a bit hollow at the moment. I imagine it’s just the one admin running the show though so I really do need to cut them some slack.
On the upside though there’s good posting diversity but if you’re a user there I’d recommend you speak up more and comment otherwise you’re never going to grow as you’ve a lot of competition.
Fiction Hub www.fictionhub.io
I really really like Fiction Hub. I can’t even go into how much I’ve started to enjoy perusing it as you can tell how half-hearted I’ve been with most of these on the list if I did.
While it’s pretty much “Writing Prompts, The Website” I really like the personality and flair the community have here.
If you’re into short stories and fun fiction I definitely recommend you have a look – some of the stories here are rather well done and feedback is always helpful and encouraging which I love to see when people are exploring creative writing.
A to b www.atob.xyz
Now A to B, or atob, is an interesting little site. It’s an anonymous chat engine in which you can discuss whatever you fancy and upload images. Chatting generates a random colour so you can tell who you are, and who is responding to you, but there’s no usernames and it reminds me of a chan board with the terminology that is thrown around.
Except there’s a very friendly vibe around and people are generally quite helpful.
Also as an added bonus, and I’m not entirely sure what triggers it, you randomly get ‘Burtled’ by a lot of little turtles after you trigger something. Whether it’s you chatting or something triggered by other users I’m not sure but it’s definitely a fun little site.
Now excuse me while I go get burtled again.
There’s definitely a strong anti-Reddit feeling from the admins on here whenever I notice Reddit being mentioned but that aside it’s not a bad little news aggregator.
There’s a lurking community that seems to be more interested in digesting content then discussing it. Something that makes me wonder why so many users who vote and interact with the posts rarely bother to comment on them.
It’s pretty clean and easy to use though with very little confusion to be had when it comes down to navigating the site.
Maybe a little too much angry highschool editor with those headlines though…
Now Infobitt say they’re trying to be what ‘Wikipedia is for articles, with the news’ and I imagine with this they mean by actually sourcing things as opposed to rampant edits for the sake of humour.
Which to be honest is a rather admirable goal.
I’ve started using this passively for news content because having multiple sources for those too-good-to-be-true headlines is actually a great idea. I can’t comment on the community at large though as I’ve not signed up and casually lurking doesn’t give me an impression that you can actually comment.
A quick little look around Stations reveals a chatroom with the ability to post videos so you can discuss them. What I’ve found it really nice for though is for sending a video to a friend and watching it while they do – so you can chat as things happen.
Which makes it pretty awesome for game release footage and announcements.
The community is alive though rather small but I expect this will change over time but there is a lot of potential here. I can see the /r/games community enjoying this for the same reasons I did.
I have an android phone so I’ve no idea if it’s any good but someone PM’d me to check it out.
So if anyone can give me a heads up and let me know that’d be great as it is only on the list because I want to know more about it.
A reddit clone that is focused purely on the gaming community. This could eventually become a viable little home for gamers if it focused a bit more on on commenting and posting content than just voting however.
While I don’t see it beating out /r/games & /r/gaming just yet it has a small but dedicated team who really want to see it succeed so I imagine it might do well further down the line.
You know I’m pretty much adding this one out of pity. It’s like one guy, posting all these links from Reddit, just so you don’t have to be on Reddit.
Seriously I went back a few days and didn’t see any comments and I’m pretty sure if I signed up and PM’d him it’d make him the happiest person alive because there’s a lot of effort going into this.
I tried checking this out awhile ago. No joy. Tried today. No joy.
One day I will get on here so I can give you my 2-3 lines on what I think about it.
Nice little Reddit clone which has a small but commenting community. The creator is rather dedicated and responds quickly to any and all queries which is nice and appears to be active on /r/redditalternatives. I imagine as this grows so will the features but for now it certainly does well enough as a light Reddit replacement.
Reddit Contact: /u/zekeboy22
So here you have a link aggregator of sorts you can organise by various aspects of how it makes you react. You can either filter by any ‘junk’ or have a more ‘cultured’ set of results come up. Though not sure why choosing ‘LOL!’ with ‘Cultured’ comes up with Satoru Iwata’s death.
The content itself is tagged via other users who can vote/tag based on what they think it is.
There’s no commenting community though based on what I’ve seen however so that’s a bit not great.
As opposed to upvotes having weight comments do instead. Which means discussion is the driving force between what gets popular here.
Which is good and bad really as that means dissenting opinion gives rise to posts as opposed to those that everyone agrees on gets to the top. This does however mean you’ll always see posts with the most discussion going on.
This voting momentum also works with comments so comments with the most replies rise to the top. I can only assume as this gets bigger you’ll see more people arguing in posts as opposed to thoughtful comments but as the community get used to this I imagine they’ll suss a way to deal with that.
It’s clean, fast, and works though so I viable alternative if you’re able to live without your beloved voting and karma.
Reddit Contact: /u/DAMN_it_Gary & /u/capn_krunk
The Artifice www.the-artifice.com
OK so for geeky interesting content The Artifice seriously gets my vote. I just want to say I really enjoyed checking this one out purely for the fact that it appears to have a well curated front page based on content that’s trending in several different subject areas.
Articles are well presented, quick to load, and honestly very good. It reminds me of Planet Ivy in the sense of that you have a lot of talented contributing writers pulling together to form a powerful community and I must admit I’m truly impressed by what they’re doing here.
The commenting system is fairly basic but in all honesty it’s all you need. The community are great too and you can actually find worthwhile discussion to glance over as opposed to quite a few on this list
So if you’re needing a fix beyond Medium for long form articles I highly recommend it.
A classic site where you can post a link in various subject areas. Plenty of commenters and very easy to use and while it looks dated it really does fall neatly under the idea of a Reddit replacement.
You can even get ‘Total Fark’ if you fancy chipping in money and getting bonus features a la Reddit gold. Which also allows you to jump in first with comments as they’re based on the old ppb forums approach as opposed to voting like Reddit.
I’ve used Fark a lot in the past though and as the community is slow to react to comments I don’t find it as satisfying as a few of those I listed here.
I’m equally surprised and impressed that Slashdot has persisted so long but then it’s a given really as the community has always been centred on diehard technology enthusiasts.
The site is still ugly, unfortunately, but the community have never cared about what it looks like as it just works. You’ll see a lot of commenting and personality seeping out but as it has a longstanding community you’ll see a few cliques here and there.
I’m actually surprised to recall a few usernames myself from years gone by.
Press Rise www.pressrise.com
This is essentially what would happen if 0.0001% of /r/news moved into a dedicated Reddit clone. Not a lot it seems.
I’ll assume this site is rather due to the lack of activity but the subreddits are focused essentially around satirical news and cats.
The latest onion piece was an amusing one at least.
So essentially we have a very quiet little community focused purely on combat sports and martial arts. Which as a martial artist I quite like.
If it picks up this could quite easily replace /r/martial arts – which suffers unfortunately from a lot of armchair martial artists and McDojo black belt holders.
But as I’ve said it’s a quiet little community so while it does have a fair amount of posts it lacks from commenters or even voters.
The admins here though seem to be planning events though so it’ll be interesting to see if it picks up.
The premise here is to give your opinion on pretty much any given topic. While it’s suffering from the same problem a lot of these new sites have, which is an active community, it is an interesting concept.
It’s certainly quite clean and responsive too – it did take me a little time to suss it out though.
But what I do like to is being able to see the trending of each topic over a long period of time, it reminds me of Google Trends, and it’s something that once a few core users make their own that could really take off.
You have yet another Reddit clone here! However it’s going for those little personal touches as it looks like the admins are encouraging you to use your real name here and write a short bio.
Which isn’t that bad a thing if you think about it.
I know a lot of people aim for anonymous boards with pseudonyms for various reasons but people tend to be a tad callous when hidden away. However there’s nothing stopping you from signing up with an anonymous name if that’s your thing so do that too.
Reddit Contact: /u/uberrust
Well you’re probably wondering why not 4chan, if I’m going to recommend a chanboard, and while this isn’t a recommendation as such it’s more of a ‘this exists’ comment. It functions in exactly the same way 4chan did but anyone here can create a board.
It has a very active community though and while things kinda go all over the place and you know exactly what to expect from channers and @ch users there’s plenty of good to be found there too.
Just be forewarned if you’re new to this don’t pop on if you have a weak constitution or browse the web at work. Things can range quite quickly past NSFW straight to NSFL.
I’m always surprised when I read firsthand people asking about upvote gifs with green arrows because it means they don’t realise that Imgur has a rather active and thriving fanbase.
While it might have been born on Reddit it has long since made its own name through an active commenting and cat posting community. There’s plenty of comments though never really longform. I would honestly put it more akin to people reacting and making amusing statements than active discussion.
Still if you want a replacement for /r/funny (you can do better than that anyway) it should be your first choice.
Plus it’s also hosting all these images on this blogpost – they’re rather reliable these days don’t you know?
‘The new home page to the internet’ it says.
Well not yet you’re not, but you may be on the way as you’ve got the same kind of fluff we all know and love. I’d fob it off as a 9gag-esque site but you can actually find healthy discussion if you look for it but it is usually between the same usernames from when I had a quick glance.
Images and videos though take the primary focus so don’t expect your text post to get noticed.
Do you have that one friend who doesn’t spend much time online but when he finds something funny that you’ve seen weeks ago he’ll post it on your wall, maybe comment in all caps about funny it is, then start tagging other friends who he thinks it’ll ‘relate to’?
Yeah this is pretty much that site.
Because they start doing that around about 13 and those people who post and comment seem to perpetually be that age.
So maybe this will do if /r/funny is all you’re subscribed to.
Digg has changed, for the worse, as we know. It’s not essentially a news portal on which I have no idea how to vote or comment on but hey I just wanted to end the list on this. Because we all know that it was the big Digg exodus that made Reddit what it is today and by that Reddit should know if it falls one of these sites could easily take its place.
Because it’s really not the site that matters but the moderators and users that set the tone and success of a place.
Honourable mentions (Probably down/wouldn’t load):
Something Awful www.somethingawful.com
BitTech forums.bit-tech.net (Anyone used to read the demotivational thread years ago?)
Anyway I hope this is helpful to you, whoever you are reading this, and I’d love to hear about any new ones that are coming out or that you love. I’m really into how the social dynamic of online communities work since the IRC/BBS days as a kid so if you’ve anything I’ve missed do let me know.