Brandwatch adds a Reddit ‘mini-firehose’ to its social data
The social intelligence firm is now sifting the raw feedback of the web’s most opinionated community.
For marketers, the popular Reddit community is a largely untapped reservoir of unvarnished opinions.
This week, Brandwatch announced that it is the first social intelligence provider to get access to significant volumes of Reddit data through what VP of Data Amy Collins described to me as “a mini-firehose.” The data will be made available in Brandwatch’s two main products, its Analytics and Vizia 2 platforms.
Previously, she said, her company and other social analytics firms have used Reddit’s public API, but that was “not intended for commercial purposes.” Brandwatch, she added, had used the API to occasionally crawl a few specific subreddits — the site’s term for discussion forums, of which there are over 139,000 active ones — when a brand requested feedback on a specific product.
But now, Brandwatch is the first to have access to a high-volume feed, making about 7,500 Subreddits available for analysis. The site is working their way up to eventually offering data access to all the subreddits, Collins said, and may phase out the public API.
The access to the high-volume feed is not exclusive, and Collins said her firm expects its competitors to have a similar arrangement at some point.
Brandwatch can analyze data down to the individual user in those subreddits, but Collins pointed out that virtually no users on the site employ their real names. This factor, plus the extreme topic focus of each subreddit, means that Reddit’s discussions are considered particularly raw and unfiltered, even angry or hateful on occasion.
This kind of passionate feedback can be useful to brands, Collins said, since it can reveal true feelings about products or brands. Reddit in general has a particular emphasis on tech and geek culture.
Since Brandwatch has only recently added the Reddit data, it’s not clear yet if it will make any real difference in brands’ decisions or strategies, compared to other kinds of data.
The 12-year-old site is visited by 270 million users monthly, who post millions of comments daily, making it one of the top 10 visited websites.
Brandwatch’s addition of Reddit data is the latest step in the company’s effort to broaden its reach. It recently announced enhanced coverage of the Asia Pacific region and a greater alliance with Twitter.