Sacha Baron Cohen, Bill Gates Boast Reddit’s Top Ask Me Anything Sessions of 2020

The platform’s community was behind 303.4 million posts, 2 billion comments, 49.2 billion upvotes

Year-over-year activity in r/blacklivesmatter skyrocketed by 9,972.4% Reddit

Reddit’s 52 million daily active users (up 44% year-over-year) were busy in 2020.

The community was responsible for 303.4 million posts (up 52.4% year-over-year), 2 billion comments (up 18.6%) and 49.2 billion upvotes (up 53.8%).

The two most upvoted posts in 2020 were a photos in r/pics from Rick Astley of the singer riding a bike backstage in Las Vegas during his first tour, in 1989, and an r/memes post poking fun at the Flat Earth Society.

The top Ask Me Anything session for the year came from Sacha Baron Cohen, in character as Borat, while Bill Gates came in at No. 2 with his AMA on Covid-19.

Reddit also provided more detailed looks at conversations on its platform this year related to the most prominent topics of 2020. The platform used data from Jan. 1 through Nov. 6 and defined activity as total posts plus comments in a community.

Covid-19

There were over 50.2 million mentions of Covid-19 across the platform, and r/coronavirus was the third most popular community by year-over-year activity.

The two biggest business communities created in 2020, by subscribers, were r/coronavirusrecession and r/stimuluscheck, while r/covid19_support saw activity spike by 50 times in March, as lockdowns began to go into effect.

The most discussed topics in r/unemployment were:

  1. Work search and career workshops
  2. Online careers
  3. CARES Act
  4. Unemployment benefits
  5. Self-employment

And the most-discussed topics in Covid-related communities were:

  1. Social distancing
  2. Medical advice
  3. Reliable sources
  4. Wearing masks
  5. Herd immunity

Movements and moments

Year-over-year activity in r/blacklivesmatter skyrocketed by 9,972.4%, while r/politics and r/USPS saw more modest gains, at 40.8% and 55.1%, respectively.

The top activism community created in 2020, by subscribers, was r/2020policebrutality, while r/politicaldiscussion saw activity spike 106% when compared with 2019.

The most discussed election topics in r/politics this year were:

  1. Supreme Court
  2. Covid-19
  3. Mail-in voting
  4. Checking voter registration
  5. Electoral college

The most discussed topics in r/blacklivesmatter were:

  1. George Floyd
  2. Police brutality
  3. Social media
  4. Breonna Taylor
  5. Systemic racism

The most discussed topics in r/worldnews were:

  1. Covid-19
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Climate change
  4. Middle East
  5. Human rights

And the most discussed climate change issues in r/climate were:

  1. Fossil fuels
  2. Renewable energy
  3. Carbon tax
  4. Green New Deal
  5. Sea levels

Advice and connections

Four of the top five relationship communities on Reddit in 2020 were focused on sharing advice: r/amitheasshole, r/relationship_advice, r/askmen and r/advice.

Reddit saw sharp year-over-year activity upticks in r/penpals (128.4%), r/needafriend (100.3%) and r/longdistance (85.2%).

The most discussed activities in r/needafriend this year were:

  1. Playing video games together
  2. Bonding over TV shows
  3. Visiting each other’s Animal Crossing islands
  4. Social anxiety support
  5. Sharing music recommendations

And in r/longdistance:

  1. Video chat and webcam recommendations
  2. Separations due to Covid-19
  3. Adapting to time differences
  4. Supporting one another’s mental health
  5. Uncertainty around travel bans and restrictions

Quarantine activities

Communities that saw significant increases in activity compared with 2019 included r/sourdough (378.8%), r/homegym (612%), r/pelotoncycle (285.2%) and r/old_recipes (82.6%), while mentions of “cut my own hair” were up 121.7% year-over-year.

The year’s most discussed recipes in r/old_recipes were:

  1. Peanut butter bread
  2. Divorce carrot cake
  3. Lemon bars
  4. Murder cookies
  5. Armenian perok cake

The top trends in Reddit’s top five beauty communities, by activity, were:

  1. Mentions of “maskne” (mask acne) spiked by 305.6% in July on r/skincareaddiction
  2. James Charles was the most discussed influencer this year on r/beautyguruchatter
  3. Mentions of fringe cuts were up 57.5% year-over-year on r/curlyhair
  4. Mentions of eye makeup shot up 26% in July on r/makeupaddiction
  5. March saw a 6,600% plunge in mentions of postponing weddings on r/weddingplanning

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
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