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Titel / Titel:An evaluation of the social news aggregator Reddit.
Author / Autor

Zimmer, F., Akyürek, H., Gelfart, D., Mariami, H., Scheibe, K., Stodden, R., Fietkiewicz, K. J., & Stock, W. G.


Source / Quelle

Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Social Media (ECSM 2018), Limerick, Ireland (pp. 364-373). Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing Limited.


Language / SpracheEnglish / Englisch


An evaluation of the social news aggregator Reddit.

Reddit, as being a Social News Aggregator (SNA), is one of the most successful websites in the world and  presents a social media service which has not been evaluated as an information service yet. SNAs offer the  opportunity to share user-generated submissions and links which can be commented and rated. Former research about Reddit was focused on the readability and characteristics of posts, and the lifespan and  propagation of its content, internet activism, and opinion leadership. We offer the first evaluation of SNAs and close the research gap. We analyzed Reddit and its quality as an Information Service using the Information  Service Evaluation (ISE) model, with focus on the two dimensions Information Service (objective and  subjective service quality) and the Acceptance of the Service. By applying a survey (N=474), we gained insight into the user behavior, and how users perceive the quality of Reddit. A SERVQUAL experiment (N=10) was conducted, using tasks to understand which steps are troublesome for the user on Reddit. A corpus-driven content analysis regarding the readability and understandability of six selected subreddits with an extracted dataset of 315,376 comments was conducted, using the automated readability index and self-provided measures based on sentence length, word length, and frequency distributions of part of speech tags. The results show that Reddit is perceived as being very enjoyable, useful, and easy to use. The majority of the survey participants were male and between 10 to 64 years of age. The quality of the content is easy to read and to understand. The service is used daily and even multiple times a day. The reasons to quit Reddit are related to too much input and time consumption. Our results implicate that Reddit seems to be addictive to some users, since they spend several sessions a day on it. In the field of social media research, Reddit offers  an excellent opportunity to study a widely neglected area of science, namely the systematic evaluation of social media systems and services.