Reddit Advertising

January 14, 2020

The Reddit Ads Pixel Now Supports First-Party Cookies

Reddit Ads staffer /u/h0neybe8r made a post in the /r/RedditAds sub yesterday titled “The Reddit Pixel gets some exciting updates today”

While the title makes it sound like there is more than one update, the post itself seems to hone in on one major change, that is that the Reddit Ads pixel now supports first-party cookies not just third-party cookies. This is a big win for Reddit advertisers as browsers like FireFox have taken it upon themselves to start blocking third-party cookies automatically in a growing privacy arms race.

Here’s that part of the announcement:
“Reddit Pixel now supports first-party cookies, in addition to third-party cookies. This means increased accuracy in conversion tracking across all browsers (specifically Safari and Firefox) and Reddit mobile apps (specifically Android).”

Post on /r/RedditAds about the first-party cookie update for the Reddit Ads Pixel. January 13th, 2020.

The most important part about this is that if you were using the Reddit Ads pixel to track conversions you were likely not seeing data from Safari or FireFox users. Starting yesterday that changed and you may see an increase in conversions attributed to your Reddit Ads without having done anything. (It was announced today that Google Chrome will begin ‘phasing out’ or blocking third-party tracking cookies too).

This is a great improvement by the Reddit Ads team and to me shows how committed they are to offering an excellent self-serve advertising product for digital marketers. For best attribution, however, you may still want to create a Reddit specific landing page / sales funnel / or lead generation form to ensure you best understand how Reddit Ads is impacting your sales or lead gen.

forum discussion on /r/RedditAds

August 31, 2019

John Wick 3 – Halle Berry’s Dogs Case Study

John Wick 3 is finding success with a Reddit Ads campaign using a 3 year old tactic proven by Toyota in 2016, giving away Reddit Gold.

The ad appears designed more to build top of mind awareness for the DVD release expected on September 10th rather than to drive any direct action. The ad is fairly simple, it asks “When Halle Berry says, “jump,” you jump. Tell us what the dogs are thinking with a caption in the comments below. The best captions will be rewarded with Reddit Gold.”

Their ad has been live for nearly a full week now and has racked up 261 comments with only a 29% upvote rate. A 29% upvote rate would normally bury a post on Reddit, but in this case the ad plus the Reddit gold giveaway instead has driven engagement with the post.

Reddit Ads that allow comments have a direct URL, you can see this ad here:

john wick 3 reddit ad

August 21, 2019

Reddit Ads May Soon Allow Better Targeting For Female-Centric Subjects

Reddit user /u/mulcahy43 posted to the Reddit Ads subreddit asking why they couldn’t target /r/Feminism and calling the Reddit staff bigots. Currently Reddit only allows targeting of subreddits the admins have selected. Some believe this means only really large subreddits can be targeted, but that’s not true as small subreddits such as /r/FCDallas can be targeted with ads. That subreddit had 1,000 subscribers when it was added to the Reddit Ads targeting que (the number of subscribers listed here is static and not pulled live of updated frequently). Today /r/FCDallas has approximately 3,402 subscribers.

fc dallas subreddit subscriber count in reddit ads

The subreddit in question in this thread was /r/Feminism which had 147,712 subscribers when checked for this post. That means either Reddit Ads targeting criteria doesn’t require a threshold of subscribers or consider the count at all or /r/Feminism was excluded for other reasons.

Reddit Ads staffer /u/snoopyy66 replied and said “This is a great feedback, and we are working on it. Will update you when I have more info around this request, please stay tuned.”

This was a vague statement and could mean either Reddit Ads will soon allow targeting of /r/Feminism subreddit or that Reddit is working to allow all subreddit’s to be targeted with advertising.

Read the post and discussion on /r/redditads here:

August 16, 2019

Update to Reddit Ads Email Notifications

Thanks to /u/jeromysonne suggesting the feature, Reddit will now be adding usernames to the emails that they send out about the platform. The usernames will be added to the subject line of emails Reddit Ads sends out about rejected ads and about ads that were approved.

The announcement was made in a post dated August 14th, 2019 in the Reddit Ads subreddit titled “Update to email communications!

December 04, 2018

You Can Now Track Conversions (better) With Reddit Ads – The Reddit Conversion Pixel

Reddit Ads have been a nightmare for analytics data based marketers trying to optimize their Return On Ad Spend. For the longest time Reddit Ads data and Google Analytics Data were not in agreement but the solution then was easy, just track conversions in Google Analytics from, use UTM tracking, or use a special funnel to track leads from Reddit. Then Reddit launched their new design as default in April of 2018. The new design stripped referrer data from all outbound links meaning analytics trackers would no longer be able to tell that traffic was coming from Reddit and all conversion data would be assigned to the “direct” channel, making it far more difficult for marketers to track success. Reddit then introduced a tracking pixel, but that tracking pixel was very basic in what it could do.

That all changed a little today when Reddit announced a new and improved version of their own conversion tracking pixel. Similar to the Facebook pixel known and loved by marketers this pixel can track various events occurring on your website by a user that visited from an advertisement on Reddit.

You can learn how to install the new conversion pixel on this page: Installing the Reddit Conversion Pixel

Here’s a peek at the new conversion pixel shared by Reddit Ads team member h0neybe8r

reddit ads conversion pixel screenshot example

It’s good to see the Reddit Ads team continuing to evolve their offerings. I really wish they would stop using the rel=noreffer attribute so we could at least try and validate the data provided by Reddit Ads, but this new conversion pixel is a huge step in the right direction.

December 03, 2018

How To Fix Problems With Google Analytics and Reddit Ads

reddit ads google analytics

2018 Update

On December 4th, 2018 Reddit announced major improvements to the Reddit Ads Conversion Pixel. This Pixel allows you to track website traffic and conversions, but that data is only trackable by Reddit and not your Google Analytics or other third-party analytics software such as Adobe Analytics.

New Reddit use the rel=noreferrer attribute on links within ads on the site. This means that you can’t track the success of your Reddit ads inside of Google Analytics or any other tracking program except for Reddit’s ad system by tracking the number of website visits, sales, or lead gen conversions from This is absolutely terrible and should never have happened. I’ve asked Reddit to fix this but have received no response.

Why Do Google Analytics and Reddit Ads disagree on clicks?

This question pops up constantly. The answer is fairly complex and Reddit hasn’t as of yet offered an official explanation, here is our current understanding. Reddit is a community comprised of some of the most tech savvy users on the internet. Many of these likely block ads on other websites, but not on Reddit. Frequently when an ad blocker is used it also blocks Google Analytics.

This could be the reason that Google Analytics and Reddit Ads do not agree. To help understand how well your Reddit ad performed instead of Sessions or Pageviews as tracked by Google Analytics try these KPI’s and tracking techniques.

How to track your Reddit Ads campaign

1. Install and use AWStats. This software program tracks at the server level and is less likely to be impacted by Adblocking software that blocks or complicates Google Analytics. Look at the referring sites column and examine the “Unique Visitors” and “Bandwidth” used by visitors from AWStats does track differently than Google Analytics using ip addresses over cookies meaning it could easily double count visitors using dynamic ip addresses or multiple devices using 1 ip address as only one visitor (i.e. a college computer lab). Here;s a really good comparison of Google Analytics and AWStats by UltimateWeb

2. Track Conversions Specific to Reddit Ad Campaign. Reddit doesn’t YET offer a tracking-pixel and given the website users’s aversion of being tracked are less likely to do so than say Facebook, Twitter, or even Tumblr. Even if they did it offer this and it worked well, it would be impossible to validate Reddit’s pixel data with your own Google Analytics due to blocking. Instead if your Reddit Ad is focused on getting Form Fills (Lead Generation) use a form software such as Gravity Forms that tracks entries inside of your desired CMS (i.e. WordPress). Create a form specifically for your Reddit campaign and either use a custom landing page, UTM tags, or referrer data to show the Reddit ads form to Reddit advertisers and track the effectiveness this way.

3. Use Coupon Codes. If you’re running a retail or event operation that relies on making sales use a custom coupon code for your Reddit Ad campaign. This will help you track the effectiveness and ROI of your campaign. Make sure you have AWstats installed and compare the sales data to Unique Visitors in order to calculate an estimated ROI of your campaign and improve your campaigns over time.

4. Track Reddit Engagement. Instead of tracking website visitors track how users engage with you on the social media website itself. Try things like; promote your own Subreddit, Ask questions, Give out Gold (see our Toyota Case Study), Track brand mentions before and after the campaign on Reddit, or Promote a narrative (i.e. the best blank of blank is blank) and track how that spreads across the site.

July 09, 2018

Reddit Ads Has Launched Call To Action Buttons

Starting today you can now include a Call to Action (CTA) button with your Reddit Ad. CTA buttons have long been the go to way to get users to take an action on a webpage, inside of an app, or from an advertisement. This should allow marketers more flexibility to drive value out of the Reddit Advertising system.

CTA’s are not available for ads running on the “old” design of Reddit or more obviously in 3rd party apps. CTA buttons will show for users on the New Reddit design, Not logged in users on desktop, Official Mobile Apps, and the mobile version of the website.

To find the CTA’s navigate to the bottom of the Ads Creation Page in your Reddit Ads Dashboard and choose a CTA Button from the Drop Down Menu.

reddit ads cta buttons setup

What the CTA button selection looks like on the Reddit Ads Creation page.

Reddit is launching this feature with 13 different types of CTA copy and doesn’t appear to have any plans to allow this featured to be customized. The CTA buttons at launch are:

  • Download
  • Install
  • Shop Now
  • View More
  • Sign Up
  • Learn More
  • Contact Us
  • Get Showtimes
  • Get a Quote
  • See Menu
  • Apply Now
  • Watch Now
  • Play Now
reddit cta button on desktop ad

What the CTA buttons look like on the desktop version of Reddit

reddit cta button mobile app

What the CTA buttons look like in the official Reddit mobile app.

Update: /u/h0neybe8r a Reddit staffer who works on the Product Marketing team responded to questions about Reddit possibly allowing customization in the future: “We will be updating the look and feel of the button as we gather and incorporate feedback. No plans for custom copy, as we want to keep things simple/streamlined and we don’t want to add more time to ad review.”

Discussion: On /r/RedditAds

July 08, 2018

Reddit Ads Stripping Referrer Data

The new Reddit design has the platform stripping HTTP referrer (referer) data from outbound links on the website. This includes ads. I asked the Reddit Ads staff about this and they informed me that this was added intentionally.

reddit norefferer attribute ads

The “noreferrer” HTML attribute strips away the referral data from one website to the next. This means that a website can look at their server data and know how many website visitors came to their website on a particular day from another website and look for patterns to help those users have a better experience.

There doesn’t appear to be any security or privacy reasons for this change and it only appears on ads using the new Reddit design. On the old design the links send referrer data normally.

If you’re an advertiser this means that you’re likely seeing an ever larger discrepancy between your Reddit Ads reported data and the data in your analytics tracking. The only way to track Reddit Ads data now is to use UTM parameters. If you’re an agency your clients should be noticing a drop in Reddit traffic from both organic and paid due to this change. There is currently no way to improve the tracking of organic Reddit traffic.

For those using the “old” Reddit design you can replicate this by going to using Chrome’s incognito tab, navigating to any advertisement (or any organic post), right clicking on the link included in the ad/post and selecting ‘inspect element’.

June 12, 2018

Reddit Will Start Running Auto-Play Video Ads Soon

Reddit recently became the #3 website in the USA according to Alexa and now the website is trying hard to capitalize on their popularity by rolling out the red carpet for advertisers with auto-play video ads. This move as reported by VideoInk will most likely prove very unpopular with current Reddit users who frequently complain about such ads on YouTube and news websites.

autoplay video reddit

The auto-play video ads will only be visible to Reddit users who use the new card-based design layout (i.e. the new default layout) and likely won’t be seen by users using / the legacy design. Currently this program is only open to ‘select partners’ but Reddit plans to open it up to all advertisers as soon as this summer.

VP of brand partnerships Zubair Jandali was cited by VideoInk saying that he thinks these auto-play video ads “[are] adding to the utility that the company offers marketers”

This move is something marketing experts like Joe Youngblood and others have expected from the platform’s recent interests in redesigning the site.

April 14, 2017

Don’t Buzzfeed My Reddit Please

Today I noticed that Buzzfeed has started taking out ads on Reddit, advertising click-bait sounding quizzes like those I spent so much time banishing from my Facebook feed. With this and Reddit’s recent development of allowing users to write “posts” on their user profile (i.e. status updates of their own), and their hosting of content such as images and videos; I am concerned that Reddit could be becoming more and more like Facebook.

buzzfeed reddit ad

Buzzfeed has started advertising click-bait low-effort, low-value quizzes on Reddit

The user account, Buzzfeedpartner, doesn’t have any post history so at the least it’s not Buzzfeed posting quizzes all over Reddit and has confined them to the advertisements section. Buzzfeed articles do get submitted to Reddit at a rate of about 10-30 times per day according to their domain submission history.

The user account also sounds like it might have been created by Reddit’s in-house ad sales team. This is the team that works to secure placements from much larger brands like the Google Pixel Phone campaign, and the Toyota TV Reddit Ads campaign, among the countless other campaigns from companies like Microsoft, A&E, HP, HBO, and others.

If that’s the case then congrats to the ad team for landing the publisher as an advertiser and thank you Buzzfeed for taking out ads on Reddit and helping fund the site’s ongoing growth and development. But could you not?

Buzzfeed isn’t all terrible, they have some good, long-form, well written content. Why not engage with Redditors in a way that feels more like Reddit with your ads? And less like, well, you treating the users on reddit like a bunch of pre-teens flipping through Cosmopolitan magazine.

Please don’t Buzzfeed my Reddit.

This article is part of the Stuffing series, Opinion articles that are based on and about Reddit Ads and the Reddit website designed to inspire conversations about the platform. These do not reflect the opinions of Reddit Inc, other authors on this blog, or Winner Winner Chicken Dinner the parent company of this blog; and are not exactly useful in your own Reddit advertising campaigns. They are just opinions, if you have your own opinion about the topics brought up in this article please leave a comment below or take the article to your favorite subreddit and discuss it there.