The top Reddit posts and topics of 2020

reddit 2020 year in review

Reddit is undeniably one of the most popular and insightful websites to have graced the internet. Recently, it unveiled its ‘Reddit’s 2020 Year in Review’, which highlights “the communities and conversations that brought Reddit users together in 2020″

The data used to compile the website’s ‘Year in Review’ was based on activity seen from 1 January to 6 November 2020. Reddit also explained how they measure their stats by using the “activity = total posts + comments in a community” formula.  

Reddit saw 52 million active users, 303.4 million posts, two billion comments, and a whopping 49.2 billion upvotes.

Blast from the past – most upvoted Reddit post of 2020

The most upvoted post of 2020 was by none other than Rick Astley, the popular English singer behind the timeless hit single, ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’. Well, now I know which song is going to be stuck in my head all day!

Astley shared a memory he uncovered during the UK lockdown, a backstage pic of a 23-year-old him in Las Vegas casually posing on his bicycle on his first music tour in 1998. The post boasts 438k upvotes at the time of writing.

Quarantine shenanigans

With most of the world stuck in some form of quarantine or lockdown, a lot of people used this time to revisit some old pastimes or dive into new hobbies. Baking and exercise seemed to be the breakout hits.

Subreddits ‘r/sourdough’ and ‘r/old_recipes’ saw a 378.8% and 82.6% increase from 2019, respectively. Subreddit ‘r/homegym’ had a 612% year-on-year increase and ‘r/pelotioncycle’, named after the popular stationery bicycle brand, saw a 285% increase.

Here’s a look at some of the quarantine activities insights, according to Reddit…

Most Discussed Recipes in r/old_recipes:

  • Peanut butter bread
  • Divorce carrot cake
  • Lemon bars
  • Murder cookies
  • Armenian perok cake

Most Discussed At-Home Workouts in r/homefitness:

  • Push-ups
  • Resistance bands
  • Pull-ups
  • Jump rope
  • HIIT workouts

Trends in Top 5 Beauty Communities (by activity):

  • r/skincareaddiction: Mentions of “maskne” (mask acne) spiked by 305.6% in July
  • r/beautyguruchatter: James Charles was the #1 most-discussed influencer this year
  • r/curlyhair: Mentions of “fringe” cuts increased 57.5% YoY 
  • r/makeupaddiction: During a year of mask wearing, mentions of “eye makeup” spiked by 26% in July
  • r/weddingplanning: Mentions of postponing weddings spiked by 6600% in March

It wasn’t all sunshine and roses, though

For all the funny and exciting moments that brightened our day, Reddit also witnessed some distressing trends in 2020.

The ‘r/unemployed’ subreddit saw a 48 286% increase compared to 2019, shining a harrowing light on the drastic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the related lockdowns.

The ‘r/covid19_support’ subreddit, which focuses on providing emotional support to those dealing with the distressing effects surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, had a 50x spike in March 2020. This highlights the fact that the current pandemic not only has a negative effect on physical health but mental health, as well.   

With the pandemic also emphasising the long-embedded global issues of injustice and inequality, political and social turmoil also took centre stage.

Compared to 2019, the ‘r/blacklives matter’ subreddit saw a 9972.4% increase in activity. The ‘r/politicaldiscussion’ subreddit a 106.8% increase, and ‘r/2020policebrutality’ a 106% increase.

A quick glance at other Reddit trends in 2020:

Reddit 2020 By-The-Numbers:

  • 52 million daily active users – up 44% YoY* 
  • 303.4 million posts – up 52.4% YoY
  • 2 billion comments – up 18.6% YoY
  • 49.2 billion upvotes – up 53.8% YoY

Most Upvoted Posts of 2020:

Most Discussed Topics in COVID-related communities:

  • Social distancing
  • Medical advice
  • Reliable sources
  • Wearing masks
  • Herd immunity

Most Discussed Topics in r/blacklivesmatter

  • George Floyd
  • Police brutality
  • Social media
  • Breonna Taylor
  • Systemic racism

Most Discussed Topics in r/worldnews:

  • COVID-19
  • Hong Kong
  • Climate Change
  • Middle East
  • Human Rights

Most Discussed New or Upcoming Films in r/movies:

  • Tenet 
  • Dune
  • Mulan 
  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 
  • Wonder Woman 1984
  • Hamilton 
  • Birds of Prey 
  • Black Widow
  • Invisible Man

Most Popular Video Games of 2020 by Community Activity: 

  • League of Legends
  • Minecraft
  • Animal Crossing
  • Fortnite
  • Destiny 

If you want to dive into Reddit’s full year in review, you can check it out here.

Wiehahn Diederichs


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