How does Reddit personalize the content and community recommendations I see?
There's a vast amount of weird, wonderful, and useful content on Reddit, and we want to make sure you don't miss any of it. We personalize the content you see on the site (not all, but some of it) and try to surface the good stuff to you in your feed.
How do you personalize and make content recommendations?
It's a science and the more we know about you and what you like (or don't like), the better our recommendations are. We use information about you (such as your location, device info/browser) and your activity on the site (your communities, votes, browsing info, etc) to make some educated guesses about what other content you might find interesting, funny, or useful and we surface those recommendations to you in your feed. If you click to read, vote, comment, or even better....join a community, then we know we did something right! Of course, the longer you're on the site, the better our recommendations will get!
What about new users, how do you make content recommendations to them?
For new users we don't have too much to go on other than general location info. That's why when you download the Reddit mobile app, one of the first things we do is surface content relevant to your general location. For example, if you're in New York, we'll show you active communities in and around the NYC metropolitan area, or if you're in London, we'll do the same.
We also ask new users to tell us what some of their interests are so we can populate their feed with content related to those topics, as well as also adding in some of our most popular communities like r/Showerthoughts or r/Lifeprotips.
But don't you need my permission to use my location?
We only use your general location - usually this is at the City level - based on your IP address. We don't currently have a reason to capture or use your precise location, but if we dream up a cool new feature that requires it, we'd ask for your permission to enable and use it.
What's the difference between personalizing ads and personalizing content?
It may seem like the way we personalize ads and content are fairly similar - they both use your activity and location information to personalize what you see to some extent.
The biggest difference between ads and and content personalization is that for ads we do not target you as an individual.. We allow our advertisers to specify a target audience based on categories that map to topics and communities on the site. The content on your feed is personalized based on your individual activity with the exception of the communities that we consider to be sensitive, such as those dealing with religion, race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. You may receive recommendations about similar communities, but we do not use your activity in any sensitive community to generate content recommendations.