What Exactly Is a Reddit AMA?

How AMAs can put you in touch with some of the most interesting people

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Reddit is one of the most useful, popular and informative social news sites on the entire web. If you haven’t discovered the joy of following and interacting with Reddit AMAs yet, now’s your chance to get in on all the fun.

An Intro to Reddit AMAs

AMA stands for “Ask Me Anything,” which is basically just a trendy internet term used to describe an interview that occurs between one user who hosts it and all the other users who want to ask questions.

You can find these in the /r/IAmA/ subreddit, which currently has over 18 million subscribers. There's also the slightly less popular but still extremely active /r/AMA subreddit that has around 256,000 subscribers. Here, you’ll find a number of posts from people stating who they are and asking users to ask them anything.

About AMA Requests

In the above mentioned subreddits you'll also come across some posts marked as [AMA Requests]. These are from users who have questions for people who haven't yet held AMAs, in hopes of gathering upvotes from others who want to see them host an AMA, and hopefully getting their attention to possibly host one someday.

While AMAs from celebrities and high-profile individuals tend to garner the most attention and hype and interaction for obvious reasons, you definitely don't have to be famous to host one. According to the mods, an AMA only has to be about something uncommon that plays a central role in your life, or it has to be a truly interesting and unique event. You can find more information about AMA requirements here.

How to Track Upcoming AMAs

There are some really interesting people who host AMAs on Reddit and this is part of what makes it so great. In the right sidebar, you can scroll down and see a table of upcoming AMAs scheduled over the next week or so to have a look and decide if anything looks interesting enough to attend. Click View All Events at the bottom to expand the table and see everything that's scheduled.

Reddit AMA Verification

To prevent people from lying about who they are, original posters are asked to provide proof of they identify in their posts or otherwise message any of the moderators so they can verify it. Anyone who pretends to be someone they’re not in an AMA post will usually see their post removed.

There are two types of proof that Reddit will accept. The first is public proof that a reasonable person could use to validate the identity. For example, an AMA host could add a note to their website or tweet on their Twitter profile.

The second type of proof involves letting moderators verify an AMA host's identity via private information. The mods always favor public proof over private proof sine it's easier to use for verification.

Reddit AMA Rules and Guidelines

In addition to providing proof of who you are as an original poster for an AMA, there’s a whole set of guidelines and rules for getting an AMA going and keeping it on the topic. In fact, Reddit created a whole PDF guide designed to walk first-time AMA hosts through the entire process. It hasn't been updated since 2015 but it's still a great resource for beginners.

Reddit also has a lengthy, dedicated page laying out all the AMA rules, policies and frequently asked questions. If you have any confusion at all about how AMAs work and how you're supposed to properly contribute, changes are your questions can be answered there.

The Most Memorable AMAs

Still not convinced Reddit AMAs are worth checking out? You may change your mind when one of your favorite celebrities or high-profile heroes decides to host one.

Rapper Snoop Dogg did an AMA on Reddit in December of 2012, which attracted over 1.6 million page views to the social news site just for that day. It was one of the largest AMAs to ever take place on the site.

Not surprisingly, the biggest ever AMA to take place on the site was the one posted by Barack Obama, President of the United States on August 29, 2012. The AMA attracted almost 3 million page views on that day, with many more millions of page views following for the days after the AMA took place.

For more, you can check out this archive of past AMAs from all sorts of famous people including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jerry Seinfeld, Tony Bennett and others. You can also see a list of top AMAs directly on Reddit. Although it hasn't been updated in years, it's still a great place to look for top AMAs that took place in the past.

The fact that regular people can connect, interact and even speak to such high profile individuals that we’d likely never be able to do otherwise without the technology we have today is absolutely amazing.