Reddit Advertising

January 05, 2017

What Reddit Means by End Date is not what you think

When setting up your Reddit Advertising campaign you’ll need to select an end date. In many advertising platforms ‘end date’ typically means the last day your ad will run. However, with Reddit’s advertising platform this means that no ads will run on this day, so your last day for the ad to run will be the day before the ‘end date’ you set.

This was brought up by Reddit user /u/auvik_shaun and is a good thing to keep note of when planning out your campaign. Read about it here.

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October 31, 2016

How to Opt Out of Reddit’s Personalized Ads

If you want to Opt-Out of the new Interest based targeting or Personalized advertising on Reddit, they’ve made the process very simple.

  1. Simply visit this url: https://www.reddit.com/adsprefs
  2. Uncheck the box marked “Show me personalized ads from Reddit on this browser”
  3. Then click “Save Options”

The opt-out option is cookie based so it works on a per browser basis. If you opt-out on Chrome while logged in and you log out then continue to browse Reddit your preferences to not be targeted with personalized ads should stay.

This also means that if you clear cookies or use a different browser you’ll have to reset your preferences. Because the system uses cookies if you want to have one account that you opt-out of advertising for and another that you leave opted in and you login to both using the same browser then you’ll notice the last action in the browser is what counts.

User could alleviate this by using one browser to opt-in to the targeting and one to opt out of the targeting.

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October 31, 2016

Reddit Launches Interest Targeting for Ads

On Thursday Reddit announced “Interest Targeting“. This is a new update to the advertising platform that goes beyond “Collections”. Interests are groups based on what subreddits users visit most often. For example if you visit /r/NoMansSky and /r/Gaming you might be considered as part of the Gaming Interest Group and if you visit /r/Enrepreneur and /r/BigSEO you might be considered as part of the Business Interest Group.

Users can opt-out of the new targeting in their user panel. It should be noted that this new targeting is cooked based but only includes Reddit data, so no re-targeting (yet). The Opt-Out options work on a per browser basis and are set for both logged in and logged out users, these are cookie based so users must reset them if they logout and clear cookies.

For now interest groups are only based on the type of content an account visits frequently based on the sub-reddits they visit. That means being able to target things like gender and sexual preference are not possible with this ad type.

One other interesting distinction with this advertising unit is that Reddit will not link various accounts owned by the same person. CEO Steve Huffman himself stated that Reddit wants users to be able to openly express themselves on Reddit and keep different parts of their lives separate on their own will. This runs in stark contrast to Google and Facebook the former of which has spent the last  5 or 6 years trying to combine information across Google accounts about one user.

Interest Groups are only available on desktop for now, it’s very possible that Reddit could release this on mobile soon, but for now they are not.

Here are all of the current Interest Groups

  • Art & Design – art lovers, creators, and designers
  • Books & Writing – aspiring authors, bookworms, and writers
  • Business – business savvy users, from startups to corporations
  • Comics & Hobbies – comic readers, cosplayers, and conventions goers
  • DIY / Crafts – ‘Do it yourself’ and crafty users
  • Entertainment – moviegoers, TV show enthusiasts, and music lovers
  • Fashion & Style – users interested in the latest fashion trends Food & Drink – foodies, chefs, and home cooks
  • Gaming – PC, console, and mobile gamers
  • Health & Fitness – fitness experts and newcomers
  • Home Decor – homeowners and decorators
  • Humor – users who love to laugh
  • Life Advice – users looking to improve themselves and others
  • Music – music makers, concert goers, and all things musical
  • Personal Finance – users learning to invest, save money, and reduce debt
  • Photography – professional and amateur photographers
  • Programming – developers, engineers, and aspiring programmers
  • Relationships – users keen on discussing their relationships
  • Science – users interested in all things science related
  • Shopping – shoppers, savers, and bargain hunters
  • Sports – users who are up to date in the sports world
  • Technology – Reddit’s tech savvy enthusiasts
  • Travel – travelers, bloggers, and nomads
  • Vehicles – automotive enthusiasts

This is what the new targeting looks like inside of the Reddit Ads Editor

reddit-ads-interest-targeting-screenshot

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October 01, 2016

Are Dirty Jokes Allowed in the Headline of a Reddit Ad?

A user wanted to know if they could use dirty jokes or a symbol for the male genitalia made out of ASCII characters as the headline for a Reddit Ad. Reddit Ads staffer /u/MyNameIzKhan was polite in asking the advertiser to keep their ads tasteful, but the reality is that doing such a thing is a violation of Reddit Ads Policy.
The policy stats under Article II, section 6 ‘Obscene, Offensive, or Inappropriate Content’:

Advertisers may not use the Platform to disseminate obscene, offensive, or inappropriate content. Such prohibited content includes content that depicts intolerant or overly contentious political or cultural topics or views, that uses vulgar or sexually explicit words or images, that is designed to evoke visceral reactions, or that is improperly targeted toward minors.

While jokes are clearly fine for Reddit Advertisements or the headlines, writing an ad that incorporates the male genitalia or dirty jokes is prohibited.

Read about this on the Reddit Advertising subreddit here.

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September 26, 2016

The Mystery of the Missing Reddit Ads

Reddit Ads manager shows all of your ads on one page at www.reddit.com/promoted/ when you’re logged in. User ‘flt001’ was having trouble seeing his/her ads on that page. Turns out they were using an adblocker. Note when you setup your ads on Reddit you should turn off your adblocker to test and make sure everything is working fine.

You can read more in this thread on the Reddit Ads subreddit.

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September 15, 2016

Targeting a City or Region not Listed in the Geo-Targeting Selector

With Reddit Ads you can target a lot of different cities and regions, but you can’t always target what you want to. For example if your a service business in Orange County California you’ll quickly discover that you can’t target Orange County in the geo-targeting options. To target your ad correctly instead look for a sub-reddit that matches your target and select a geographic target that fits as well. In this example you could try geo-targeting California and targeting only users of the /r/orangecountry sub-reddit. Or you could try the sub-reddit’s of Anaheim, Irvine, and other cities located in Orange County.

Reddit Ads staffer MyNameIzKhan also recommended that advertisers could target a nearby area with the geo-targeting option, which in this case would be the city Los Angeles. Read this thread on the Reddit Advertising sub-reddit here.

Another plan would be to setup several different ad variations with different geographic / sub-reddit targeting options to see which one(s) work the best for you.

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August 24, 2016

Reddit Changes Ecommerce Advertising Rules

reddit no free ads

Reddit recently announced changes to their Reddit Advertising policies for ecommerce websites. They are no longer going to allow advertisers to use “misleading” ads or ads where delivery times vary a lot. In fact they’ve added 4 rules to their ecommerce advertising that take effect effective immediately, they are:

  • No ‘free’ products or misleading pricing
  • The cost of the item cannot be rolled into the cost of shipping
  • Estimated shipping time must be 30 days or less
  • Estimated shipping time must be clearly indicated at checkout

This means advertisers will not be able to sell products they claim are free but come with a hefty shipping cost, sell a product but wait a long time to ship it, or not provide estimated shipping dates in a clear fashion before the user makes a purchase.

Reddit Advertising staff said about the changes:

Our goal with these changes is to ensure a quality ad experience for our users by promoting transparency. Furthermore, we want to protect advertisers from aggressive or distasteful comments and private messages that revolve around these ads. – MyNameIzKhan

This update appears to impact only “Free Products” that are tangible and not intangible items (i.e. digital downloads) or free services (i.e. free sketches). We’ve asked about things like 30-day trails, free services, free digital downloads, and charging a few cents for a product with shipping to see if those are still acceptable.

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August 22, 2016

A/B Testing and Reddit Ads

reddit ads ab testing

Recently Reddit advertiser IdoQL asked how they would be able to A/B test Reddit ads. It came as no surprise that Reddit doesn’t currently have a built in A/B testing platform for their advertisers as the site only recently appears to have taken selfserve advertising seriously.

Reddit staffer MyNameIzKhan replied that setting up your own A/B test experiment was possible, but unofficially. When an advertiser builds two ads with different creative but identical settings (spend, dates, and targeting) the Reddit Advertising platform will distribute their impressions as evenly as possible resulting in an almost A/B testing like environment.

We do not yet have true A/B testing. To test two different ads on the same subreddit you will need to set identical campaign parameters.

Our system will attempt to rotate these ads evenly throughout your campaigns length. – MyNameIzKhan, Reddit Advertising Staff

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August 18, 2016

Gambling Ads Must Be in Gambling Subreddits Only

Reddit ads allows for gambling related ads to be posted, however, it would seem they require that the ad be targeted only to gambling subreddits. This was unveiled when Reddit advertiser Mzeemaneno tried to post a gambling related ad and was told to make sure they are in only specific subreddits.

This is not something that the Reddit Advertising Policy states. In section 11 the policy covers Gambling:

11. Gambling and Gambling-Related Services

Advertisements for gambling and gambling-related services must:

(i) comply with applicable laws, regulations, and licensing requirements, which may include those applicable to the location of your business, those applicable to the location of your target audience, and those related to responsible gambling;

(ii) comply with industry standards, as may be reflected in the American Gaming Association’s Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming; and

(iii) ensure minors are not the target of such advertisements.

This appears to be either some new requirement or it could be something the Reddit user themselves decided to do to avoid additional scrutiny.

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August 01, 2016

Promoted Posts May Only Be For Big Brands

Reddit’s new advertising format, Promoted Posts, is launching on Thursday August 4th and it looks really neat. The ads allow a website owner / brand to track links from their website or brand mentions shared on Reddit and promote them via the advertising system. If you’re familiar with Reddit you know that Redditors are sharing content and stories about brands and products all of the time.

This new advertising feature will help brands highlight those conversations and interactions with consumers.

In Reddit’s own words from their announcement:

In conversations with many advertisers, we often hear that Redditors have already rallied around brands and products they genuinely like, and advertisers want to know how they can be part of that. But at the same time, we want to ensure that our communities remain free and user-controlled.

We asked if this ad format would make it’s way into the self-serve system, where most advertisers purchase ads. The answer was there were no current plans to do this, but that it could be something they look into in the future.

Right now we are offering this to big brands. This may translate over to self-serve in the future but no current plans. – MyNameIzKhan (Reddit Ads Staff)

This means that to do a promoted post, at least for now, you’ll have to be a big brand or be willing to spend at least whatever the minimum ad buy is for their managed campaigns. That’s unfortunate as many smaller companies, or even those that simply enjoy managing ads on their own, could see really good value in this new advertising format. Hopefully an iteration of this makes it way into the self-serve system soon.

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