No, Reddit Isn’t More Engaging Than Porn—But Its User Growth Numbers Stand Erect

Even Alexis Ohanian wouldn’t claim his site is better than porn. Jerod Harris/Getty Images

Is a controversial Reddit thread actually more engaging than a Stormy Daniels video?

Yes, according to an article published on The Next Web this morning by Simon Kemp of the marketing strategy firm Kepios. The company’s newest branding study aims to prove that Reddit has cemented its place as an internet powerhouse.

The discussion board now has 330 million monthly active users, tying it with Twitter. Reddit’s user count has actually jumped 30 percent in the last six months.

Its engagement numbers are even more impressive. Data from Amazon’s Alexa analytics service shows Reddit is the sixth most visited site on the planet.

The average user is on Reddit for 15 minutes and 45 seconds per day, visiting the site 10 times daily.

That makes Reddit more engaging than Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia and Amazon. The average user is on these sites for no more than 11 minutes a day.

Reddit even has better engagement than the top adult sites on the Alexa ranking. Thus, according to this study, Reddit is more engaging than porn.

Kemp doesn’t provide any data on the porn sites he’s comparing Reddit to, however. That makes it difficult for a casual observer to crunch the numbers.

But Alan Martin, an editor at the British computer magazine Alphr, got his hands on the actual data. And it turns out the porn comparison doesn’t hold up to increased scrutiny.

Only two porn sites are included in Alexa’s top 50: Pornhub (which has an engaged time of 8:26) and Xvideos (with an engaged time of 14:09). So the first and most obvious issue is there are more than two porn sites on the internet.

More importantly, however, pornography by its very nature is only engaging for a few minutes. If users want to watch more porn videos, they have to go to another website (or at least a different page on the same site) and “engage” again.

And as Martin points out, Reddit contains quite a bit of porn itself—there are plenty of kinky subreddits in the dark corners of the site. So Reddit is not so much more engaging than porn as most engaging as porn.

But while Kemp’s flaccid attempt at clickbait is regrettable, Martin does confirm that Reddit’s user engagement numbers stand erect on their own. So the site’s rapidly growing community is clearly doing something right.

Kemp and Martin have not responded to Observer requests for comment.

No, Reddit Isn’t More Engaging Than Porn—But Its User Growth Numbers Stand Erect