March 28, 2021
If you've ever visited Reddit, you've probably seen a bunch of random icons and numbers next to different submissions on its front page. What are these?
Reddit Awards: little icons individuals can pay to put on a Reddit submission or comment, sometimes giving the recipient on-site currency or a subscription to sitewide premium features.
The usefulness of these awards aside, I collected a sample of several million comments and submissions ranging from October 1st, 2020 to February 26th, 2021, with the goal of identifying which subreddits are most likely to generate awards for their commenting or submitting participants.
Most of the awards given do not generate any coins for the user, but they can be fun to look at. These are sorted with confidence bars, where I use the most conservative estimate to order them.
What is a confidence interval? Without going to technical, it is the range of probabilities where you would most likely expect the true probability to lie, based on the counts used in the calculations.
Interestingly enough, 3 of the top 5 subreddits (/r/RedditSessions, /r/TheArtistStudio, and /r/distantsocializing) are all based on user live broadcasts from the site, which are generally the most conducive to receiving awards.
Many of the other popular subreddits are feel-good subreddits, posting happy content (usually animals and memes).
The rates for most subreddits are pretty low, but the ones with the highest rates are ones in which the commenter of a submission makes effort into creating something, fulfilling a challenge, or making a prediction. Interestingly, /r/GoForGold is a subreddit made specifically so that users who complete the submission author's challenge will receive some type of Reddit award.
Coin-giving awards are more expensive to give to users, generally, so they are much less commonly-given.
This follows the trend of the subreddits ranked for any awards, but the subreddits that involve users who create live sessions are even more securely at the top. There is quite a bit of room for error with the error bars, though, but these confidence intervals are fairly wide.
Coin-giving awards are especially rare for comments. The top 2 subreddits are meant to give out awards, and the third, /r/secretsanta, involves users anonymously exchanging gifts with each other around Christmas. It is difficult to make too many predictions based on the very wide confidence intervals for other subreddits, as it is difficult to get a large and random sample over the same time period without sampling from all of Reddit.
If you want Reddit awards for some reason, consider learning a talent (e.g., music, art, being good at video games) and streaming if you're comfortable with that. There are also more adult-oriented ways (indicated by NSFW colors) that have high rates, but I will comment no further than that.
If you want to use comments, you can try your luck at /r/GoForGold, but that requires a bit of effort.
Python and SQL were used for data collection. R with ggplot2 was used for additional summarizing and visualizations. I will update this section with the GitHub repository at a later point in time.