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How to start on Reddit

It’s the world’s 12th most visited website but yet to take off in South Africa. That spells opportunity, writes KATIE CHODOSH, content consultant for B2B public relations agency TopLine Comms and TopLine Film

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Despite being one of the biggest websites in the world, Reddit hasn’t caught on in South Africa. It’s the 12th most visited website in the world, but it’s only the 37th in South Africa. And according to Hootsuite’s and We Are Social’s annual Global Digital Yearbook for 2019, Reddit doesn’t feature in the top 10 social platforms in South Africa (Facebook was number one, followed by YouTube and WhatsApp).

This a shame, to say the least. Reddit is where most viral content is aggregated, so if you want to know what’s happening on the Internet or you’re creating content that you want to go viral, you need to be on it.

But the best thing about it is the data it holds: because everyone is anonymous, Reddit knows everyone’s secrets. That makes it a great place for market research and some honest advice. 

Getting started with Reddit can be tough, as there’s a seemingly endless amount of content. Here a handy guide for your first steps:

Get to know subreddits

When you first sign up to Reddit, you’ll want to start subscribing to subreddits (or subs). These are dedicated channels on topics where you can post links, images or create a self-post to discuss whatever you like. You can subscribe to subs if you like the topic, and all posts from that sub will show up on your homepage. If you’re unsure what subreddit you’re looking at, look at the part that comes immediately after the r/ at the end of the URL (for example, https://www.reddit.com/r/southafrica/ is a sub on everything related to South Africa). Anyone with an old enough account can create a sub on any topic they like. 

How to identify a good subreddit

Once you’ve found some subreddits you, check for the following:

  • The member count: You can see how many members are in the sub on the sidebar. A lot of members indicate that the content posted is relevant, but smaller subs can have higher engagement and interaction.
  • Check if it’s US-centric – Reddit is a global website, but some subs are very US-centric, so it’s worth checking whether the content is only for a US audience.
  • Rules: All subreddits have to obey reddit’s reddiquette, but moderators can (and should) also impose their own rules. Stricter rules help keep the sub relevant. 
  • Active moderators: Moderators (or mods) are supposed to keep the sub on-topic and rule-abiding. Weekly updates/sticky posts are usually a sign of an active mod team.

Pro tip: Once you set up an account, download the Boost app if you use Android, or the Apollo app if you use iOS – they’re much better than the official Reddit app. 

Some of the best subs to start following

If you’re interested in technology, the best place to start is r/Technology. With over 8 million members, it’s a really large sub, but it’s moderated well and the rules are enforced. There’s a sticky post for weekly discussion and plenty of engagement on posts. It is America-centric, but as so many tech topics are global, it’s still worth including. Other smaller subs worth checking out in the tech category include r/MachineLearning, r/tech and r/Futurology.

If you work in marketing, there are some great subs that you can use as a resource. 

Try the small marketing communities at r/digital_marketing, r/DigitalMarketing, and r/AskMarketing for questions and discussions about the industry. If you’re interested in filming and videography, you might like the recommendations from our video production agency. They’re big fans of /r/editors as a useful resource for tips and advice. They also like r/cinematography, which is an active resource for cinematographers of all skill levels, and, for a bit of fun, r/praisethecameraman – a sub dedicated to good camera operators who keep a proper recording angle, regardless of the content itself.

There are loads of cute animal subs, too, for your downtime. Beyond the massive r/aww, try r/MasterReturns for videos and pictures of dogs (and other pets!) being reunited with their owners after an extended absence. Or you might like self-proclaimed ‘cutest subreddit on the internet’, r/tippytaps, filled with pets tippy tappying in excitement and happiness.

There are some other business subreddits worth checking out, too. r/business has tips from business owners as well as the top business stories from around the world. If you’re working at a startup, you’ll want to follow r/startups, the place to discuss startup problems and solutions. Similarly, r/smallbusiness is a great resource full of questions and answers about starting, owning, and growing a small business.

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Alexa can now read all messages

For the first time, an Alexa skill is available that makes it possible to listen to any kind of message while driving

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For the first time, Alexa users can now hear all their messages and email read aloud.

Amazon’s Alexa has become a household name. The world’s most popular virtual assistant is getting smarter every day and now, with Amazon Echo Auto, it’s in cars too. 

“In today’s highly connected world, messaging in the form of emails, texts, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and work channels like Slack, are integral to our daily routine,” says Barrie Arnold, chief revenue officer at ping. “However, distracted driving is responsible for more than 25% of car crashes and thousands of preventable fatalities every year.” 

ping, a specialist in voice technology founded by Arnold and South African Garin Toren, has developed a new Alexa skill as a companion to its patented smartphone app, that enables any message type to be read aloud. Designed for safety, productivity and convenience, “pingloud” is the first skill of its kind for keeping users connected when they need a hand or an extra pair of eyes.

“The ping Alexa skill is specifically designed to help drivers stay off their phones while giving them exactly what they want – access to their messages.” says Toren, ping CEO. 

Opening up Alexa to developers has resulted in an explosion of new skills available either for free or for a fee that unlocks premium services or features. These tools magnify the usefulness of Alexa devices beyond common tasks like asking for the weather, playing music or requesting help on a homework assignment. According to App Annie, the most downloaded apps in 2019 were Facebook Messenger, Facebook’s main app and WhatsApp, highlighting the importance of messaging. 

“The ping Android app is available worldwide from the Google Pay Store, reading all messages out loud in 30 languages,” says Toren. “The iOS version is in global beta testing with the US launch coming very soon.” 

Once you’ve signed up for ping, it takes a few seconds to link with Alexa, enabling all messages and emails to be read aloud by a smart speaker or Echo Auto device. Simply say, “Hey Alexa, open pingloud.” ping links an account to a voice profile so unauthorised users with access to the same Alexa cannot ask for the authorised user’s messages.

All major message types are supported, including Texts/SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Snapchat, Slack, Telegram, Twitter DM’s, Instagram, and all email types. Promotional and social emails are not read by default.

*For more information, visit www.pingloud.com

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Coronavirus to hit 5G

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Global 5G smartphone shipments are expected to reach 199 million units in 2020, after disruption caused by the coronavirus scare put a cap on sales forecasts, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.

Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global 5G smartphone shipments will grow more than tenfold from 19 million units in 2019 to 199 million in 2020. The 5G segment will be the fastest-growing part of the worldwide smartphone industry this year. Consumers want faster 5G smartphones to surf richer content, such as video or games. We forecast 5G penetration to rise from 1 percent of all smartphones shipped globally in 2019 to 15 percent of total in 2020.”

Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, Associate Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “China, United States, South Korea, Japan and Germany are by far the largest 5G smartphone markets this year. The big-five countries together will make up 9 in 10 of all 5G smartphones sold worldwide in 2020. However, other important regions, like India and Indonesia, are lagging way behind and will not be offering mass-market 5G for at least another year or two.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The global 5G smartphone industry is growing quickly, but the ongoing coronavirus scare and subsequent economic slowdown will put a cap on overall 5G demand this year. The COVID-19 outbreak is currently restricting smartphone production in Asia, disrupting supply chains, and deterring consumers from visiting retail stores to buy new 5G devices in some parts of China. The first half of 2020 will be much weaker than expected for the 5G industry, but we expect a strong bounce-back in the second half of the year if the coronavirus spread is brought under control.”

Exhibit 1: Global 5G Smartphone Shipments Forecast in 2020 1

Global Smartphone Shipments (Millions of Units)20192020
5G19199
Rest of Market13941165
Total14131364
 
Global Smartphone Shipments (% of Total)20192020
5G1%15%
Rest of Market99%85%
Total100%100%

Source: Strategy Analytics

The full report, Global Handset Sales for 88 Countries & 19 Technologies, is published by the Strategy Analytics Emerging Device Technologies (EDT) service, details of which can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/wep83gc.

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