Reddit Shares Insight Into Evolving Discovery Trends

Over the past few years, Reddit has become an important platform for discovery, due to its capacity to provide real insight from real people, via Reddit’s highly engaged subject matter communities.

And this week, Reddit has shared new insight into just how influential it has become as a discovery tool, via a new survey report, conducted in conjunction with  GWI and AmbassCo, which looks at evolving search trends, and where Gen Z, in particular, is now looking for answers.

As explained by Reddit:

The future of online search is undergoing a seismic shift, driven by the changing behaviors and expectations of Gen Z consumers. This tech-savvy generation, weary of traditional product research methods, is leading a charge towards curated recommendations and personalized shopping experiences. In a time where AI and influencers bring baggage in the form of distrust and skepticism in the digital channels users rely on most, shoppers are looking for real answers.”

You can download the full report here (via email sign-up), but in this post, we’ll take a look at some of the key notes.

According to Reddit’s research, which incorporates responses from 3,140 internet users, search engines are gradually losing relevance as discovery tools.

Reddit search report

As you can see in these charts, over time, people are relying less and less on search engines in their product discovery process, as alternative systems continue to improve.

Alternative systems like product recommendations on social media, for example:

Reddit search report

Now, that’s not a huge surprise. Social media has increasingly become more ubiquitous over time, and the recommendation systems of social networks are also evolving, and becoming more attuned to each person’s interests.

But even so, the research also shows that young users, in particular, are becoming even more reliant on such systems:

Reddit search report

As you can see in these charts, the last two in particular, Gen Z users have higher expectations around the personalization of their results (i.e. the platform showing them what they’re likely interested in), while they’re also looking for increased convenience in discovery.

And Reddit suggests that it can help to play a role in this:

Gen Z is particularly sensitive to inaccurate information and the lack of reviews, reflecting their desire for trustworthy research experiences.”

On this front, the data does indeed show that Reddit is considered a trustworthy source, up there with friend and family recommendations in many respects.

Reddit search report

This is Reddit’s key differentiator, that it can provide trustworthy, insightful notes on products, assisting in discovery, by eliminating a lot of the junk and false reports on other apps.

And again, given the increasing reliance on Reddit as a Search accompaniment, that makes sense, though it is interesting to see just how high Reddit ranks in terms of trust in these notes.

And while Reddit doesn’t have algorithmic matching for product recommendations as such, it does provide a range of ad tools that can enable brands to get their products into the right spaces in subreddit streams.

Reddit search report

There are some interesting notes here, and some valuable pointers which underline how the discovery process is evolving, and how brands can align with those shifts.

Worth considering – you can download Reddit’s full “How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z” report here.  

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