For those who don’t use Reddit, it can seem like a confusing place far removed from the mainstream of Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
In reality Reddit is an eclectic mixture of all of the above and more, an online environment separated into a dizzying and diverse array of subsections.
It is this nature of Reddit that allows strange ideas to thrive, and live counting is just such a wacky concept.
For several years users of the subreddit “livecounting” have been communally counting from the number one on a live feed and, one number at a time with no user posting twice in a row, they just passed 10 million.
The subreddit was born four years ago from another simply called “counting”, where users count by commenting on a thread.
Brave users of counting once intrepidly set off to count to infinity, but their gallant effort was let down by their method – with Reddit moderators having to step in after the continually-growing thread caused “site-wide problems”.
Instead they turned to Reddit’s live threads feature, which allowed users to send in numbers on a continuously updating feed and to heights never before reached.
Over 100,000 Redditors went onto the live thread to get the count over the 10 million mark thanks to promotion by the site, but a usual amount online at any one time is around 1,000.
Along with the main thread, other less traditional counts in the community include different numerical sequences and counting letters, dates or even sheep.
Why though? A blog post on Reddit’s community page asked some of those involved.
“People like feeling like they’re making progress on something, and with counting the numbers just keep going up,” said user LeinadSpoon, a moderator of livecounting.
That sense of achievement is clearly addictive, with many avid users of the subreddit counting thousands of times a day.
“One of my many memorable experiences in live counting was when I hit 1,000,000 counts in mid February 2018, just a few days more than 500 days after I joined,” said amazingpikachu_38.
So when will it end?
“We’ll stop the moment we get to infinity,” said LeinadSpoon. “One of the cool things about live counting is that the journey is more important than the destination.”
“My hopes for our future is really just that we continue to exist as an active community, because I truly do love it,” said livecounting moderator dominodan123.
“It’s always great when we get new members because their excitement to rank up in the stats and learn about our community is infectious.”