Reddit Ads API – Detailed Set Up & Usage Guide

Reddit’s low-cost ad rates and high-interest targeting capabilities make it an excellent platform for advertising.  If you’re interested in harnessing the full advertising power of Reddit, then you may have questions about how to set up your Reddit Ads API.

Reddit Ads API, or Application Programming Interface, can be set up through a series of registration and authentication steps. An API can be beneficial when a clearly defined method of communication between various software components is needed in your advertising efforts.

This powerful tool, though complex, can help you take your ads to the next level by setting up a system of software communication. 

Reddit Ads API

The world of APIs can be a complicated one for anyone new to advertising. If you are new to Reddit, Reddit ads, or APIs, you may have a difficult time deciding where to start. Information on Reddit Ads API can often be difficult to find or it could be from an outdated source so it is important to do careful research before you begin setting up your Reddit Ads API. As with any other Terms of use, you must agree that you have read and understood the terms on behalf of yourself or on behalf of the company that you are representing. 

Setting up your ads API

Before you begin the process of setting up your API, you must familiarize yourself with Reddit’s API Terms of Use. If any of the terms prove to be an issue for you, you can contact Reddit directly to discuss these terms with them and come to a solution. The terms of use are also subject to updates, though they are few and far between. If you decide to set-up your Reddit API, you are agreeing to the terms of use laid out by Reddit by registering for an API. 

Here are the highlights of the Reddit API terms of use: 

  • You must be of legal age to form a binding contract with Reddit
  • You cannot be a person who is barred from using or receiving the Reddit APIs under the applicable laws of the country of which you are a resident or from which you use the Reddit APIs
  • If you are representing a company make sure that you have the full legal authority to bind your employer or entity to the terms. You must have this full legal authority to participate in Reddit Ads API
  • You must provide Reddit with accurate contact information
  • In addition to the API rules, you must agree to comply with all Reddit Terms and Rules
  • You may not modify the user content from Reddit. This includes Reddit user photos, texts, and videos
  • Respond to any requests from Reddit to remove content
  • In your application, you must provide information on how you collect, store, use, and disclose data collected from visitors. 
  • You must comply with all applicable laws and regulations to participate in Reddit Ad APIs
  • Reddit has the authority to enforce limits on your use of the Reddit APIs
  • Although there are not currently any fees associate with Reddit APIs, Reddit reserves the right to charge fees in the future. If Reddit changes the fee policy, you will be notified. 
  • You will not be able to use any Reddit trademarks unless you have written consent from Reddit to do so. 
  • Do not make any public statements about your use of the Reddit Ad API unless you have written consent from Reddit. 
  • If you decide to stop using the Reddit APIs at any point in time, you do not have to notify Reddit of this decision. However, this applies to Reddit as well. They can suspend your access to APIs without giving you any prior notice. 

Once you’ve read through the terms of service in their entirety, you’ll find the registration information at the end of the official document. You’ll need to provide a company name if you are representing a company or an individual name if you are representing yourself as well as a Company Point of Contact (name & title). Reddit will also require a phone number and email address for your Point of Contact. Next, you’ll be asked to provide Reddit with an app name or an explanation of how you want to use the API. Make sure to provide an accurate answer.

Reddit will also require you to provide the developer platform (iOS, Android, Chrome browser extension, etc.) that you’ll be using. Next, Reddit will ask for your OAUTH Client ID. If you don’t have this ID yet, Reddit will provide you with a link and step by step instructions to set this up. Lastly, Reddit will ask for your Monetization Model, if any. Since you are setting up an API specifically for Reddit ads, you’ll want to use this space to explain how your use of the Reddit API will be monetized. Your last step is to submit your form and wait for approval from Reddit. 

Understanding the ads API

Understanding the ads API

Before jumping into the registration process, you must understand both the Reddit platform and the use of APIs. You’ll want to make sure that creating a Reddit Ad API is right for you before starting.  APIs, or application programming interface, is an interface that defines interactions between multiple software intermediaries. Essentially, your API allows two applications to talk to each other. You have almost certainly used an API without being aware of it. Facebook apps and weather apps, and similar apps you may use are all classified as APIs.

There are many ways that you may interact with APIs in your everyday life without realizing it. In your quest to understand the world of APIs, it may be helpful to take a look at some of the APIs that you are already familiar with. Here are a few examples of APIs you’ve likely encountered:

  1. Weather Snippets. These use APIs to collect weather data from a third party and provide that information to Google, Apple, etc. for them to display. When you ask your smart device to tell you the weather, you are likely relying on an API to deliver your answer. 
  2. Log-In with Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin/Google/Email/Etc. Many websites offer you the option to log in to your account using login information from other popular sites like Facebook and Google. This practice uses and API to authenticate your login information. Most online users take advantage of this convenient login method. 
  3. Paying with Paypal. E-commerce sites make great use of API to complete their checkout process. Most sites with a check out feature will offer you the option to pay your total with PayPal. They are using an API to safely transfer payment information between the eCommerce site and your PayPal account. 
  4. Twitter. Twitter bots are the results of an API as well. These accounts automatically perform a wide range of actions like sending messages and commenting. 
  5. Travel Sites. If you’ve booked a trip using a popular travel site, you’ve used an API. Travel sites use APIs to collect flight and hotel information from third parties and display the results on their website. This particularly useful API is helpful when you are comparing prices for your upcoming trip.
  6. Banking. Banks can make great use of APIs to safely track your financial information for you. 
  7. Online shopping with big retailers. Online retailers rely on APIs to send and track packages through the mail. This API helps streamline shipping so that your packages arrive on time. 
  8. Steaming Services. Many large streaming services use APIs to distribute content for them. 

As you can see from the examples provided above, APIs are also very versatile and have many different uses. They can be used on web-based systems, operating systems, database systems, and computer hardware. Another helpful way to think about APIs is to think of it as a translator that helps bridge the gap between two different languages. They achieve this by defining rules that determine how computers, apps, and machines talk to each other. APIs can be found all over the internet, working behind the scenes in every aspect of our online lives. 

APIs are messengers that deliver your request to a provider and then deliver the response back to you. As you can imagine, a complex and powerful tool like this has tons of different uses to explore. 

Using the ads API

If you’ve decided to move forward with your API creation, it will benefit you to learn a little more about using an API before you begin the set-up of your Reddit Ad API. Learning the basic functions of APIs will help you determine how best to apply APIs to your unique situation. APIs increase the functionality across a broad range of systems, databases, and applications. Using an API will also allow you to gather information quickly and preventing you from having to search for data that has already been collected by another party. 

There are four main types of APIs that you will encounter:

  1. Open APIs: These APIs are available to the public so there aren’t any restrictions applied. Since anyone can use these APIs, they are sometimes referred to as Public APIs. 
  2. Partner APIs: These APIs are not available to the public. You’ll need to acquire specific licenses from the host to use these APIs. If you are setting up Reddit Ad APIs, you’ll be dealing with a partner API since it requires special permission from Reddit to access the API. 
  3. Internal APIs: These APIs are not available to the public. Because they are only intended for a company’s internal use, these are sometimes referred to as Private APIs. 
  4. Composite APIs: These APIs combine data and service APIS. They are typically used for improving performance. 

There are four basic actions that an API can take. You can request data, make a new entry on the server, change existing information, or delete existing information. When you are considering APIs and all of their uses, you can categorize API even further using data and service metrics. These categories are: 

  • Data APIs. These APIs grant you access to data sets and databases. 
  • Internal Service APIs: These APIs can help expose internal services and processes. 
  • External Service APIs: These APIs will help you embed third-party services into an existing service to improve it. 
  • User Experience APIs: These APIs will help you use your composite APIS to develop apps. 

It’s important to note when you are using an API will not give you every bit of code from the source. APIs will only provide you with specific data, instead of the full code. This prevents you from copying the entire code base for your use. In addition to categorizing APIs, you can also look at an API in terms of its individual parts. APIs consist of three different parts:

  1. User: This is defined as the person who makes the request. 
  2. Client: This is defined as the computer that sends the request to the server
  3. Server: This is defined as the computer that responds to the request. 

When you are using an API it’s important to keep these terms in mind. When it comes to APIs, there is plenty of free information to be found on the internet, and it can be referenced as often as you need while you are setting up your API. Now that you’ve got a firm grasp on some basic API terminology and their capabilities, familiarized yourself with Reddit’s Terms of use and learned about the Reddits API registration process, it’s time to take a look at what a Reddit Ad API can do for you. 

Reddit Ads API Detailed Set-Up

After you have read in full and agreed to comply with the Ads API terms, you are ready to begin your work setting up y our Reddit Ads API. Before you begin, you must be whitelisted. This means that you have been explicitly allowed access by Reddit. If you have not been whitelisted, you can contact a Reddit sales representative to ensure this change. With the Reddit Ad API, data freshness is guaranteed. This means that the data is current and accurate up to three hours ago. Additionally, Reddit does set rate limits. This limit is one request per second. 

Take a moment to read over the instructions in their entirety before you go through begin the step-by-step process of setup. This will give you an idea of everything you’ll need before you begin. When you are ready to begin the setup process you can follow the steps below to establish your Reddit Ad API : 

  1. Sign in to your account and navigate to application preferences
  2. Select “create an app”
  3. Name your application
  4. Select the application type
  5. Enter a redirect URL. You’ll need to choose a URL that you own. 
  6. Click “create app”
  7. Give your developer application access to your account using the URL provided by Reddit. In this provided URL, you’ll need to customize the Client ID, Random String, Redirect URL, Duration, Scope String
  8. Next, you will click the “allow” button
  9. This will redirect you to the redirect URL you provided in step 5. You will find that the query parameters State and Code have been added in the address box of your browser. Code is a single-use log in code that will allow you to create a refreshable access token. 
  10. Next, you will want to open up a terminal and enter the curl command provided by Reddit. Again, you’ll need to customize some of this information including the client name, client id, app secret, code, and redirect URL before you execute the command. 
  11. Now you can use your access token to access the ads API for one hour. For additional time, you’ll be able to use the refresh token. 

To use Reddit to authenticate on non-Reddit websites and applications, you’ll need to use OAuth2. Once you’ve got your Ad API set up, you can explore the myriad of uses for collecting and analyzing data. You’ll be able to get an account by ID, get information about ad groups, get an ad group by ID, get information about ads, get an ad by ID, get a list of ads by an account ID, get information about campaigns, get campaigns by user, get a campaign by ID, get information about custom audiences, get a custom audience by ID, and get custom audiences by user. 

Additionally, you’ll be able to generate reports for an account for up to six months in the past. You can gather lists of data about your target audience that can help further your Reddit ad strategy. You can also fetch a list of geolocations, available interests, and available communities to help you further understand your diverse audience on Reddit. 

If you are going to dig even deeper into Reddit Ads API, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with any technical terms that may pop up as you establish and maintain your API. The more information you can frontload, the less time you’ll spend researching during the set-up process. 

Helpful API references

Now that you’ve had a chance to delve into Reddit Ads API, you may want to a quick refresher on some of the technical terms and concepts that you’ll encounter while working within the Reddit Ads API. If you are new to API, especially, knowing these terms can enrich your understanding of Reddit Ads API. You may find that you need to access these terms somewhat frequently, in the beginning, to memorize the meaning and accurately apply them. While the tech-savvy may know most terms by heart, the average user rarely knows each and every term. 

Here are a few terms and concepts that may help you further understand your work with API. 

  • Access Token – in computer systems, they contain security credentials for login. The access token identifies the user, the user’s group, and the user’s privileges. 
  • Refresh Token – in computer systems, they are used to generate additional access tokens. These are useful when you need to extend a session. 
  • Coding – This is the process of creating instructions for computers using programming languages. You’ll need to do some very light coding to set up your Reddit Ads API. 
  • Redirect URL – This technique is used to redirect your domain’s visitors to a different URL. This can also be called URL forwarding. 
  • Random String – This refers to a series of letters and numbers that have no distinct pattern. It can be useful if you are creating security codes. 
  • OAuth2 – This is a method of authorization. It is the industry-standard and it can help provide authorization flows for web applications, desktop applications, and mobile phones. 
  • Whitelisted- This refers to allowing an entity access to a privilege, service, or access that is not allowed to the general public. On Reddit, users who wish to use the Ad API will need to be whitelisted by a Reddit Sales Representative. 
  • Endpoints – This refers to the ends of the communication channel. 
  • Rest API – This stands for Representations state transfer, a specific style that defines a set of constraints to be used for creating web services. 
  • API Keys- These are unique identifiers used to authenticate a user, developer, or calling program to an API. 
  • Query String – this is a part of the URL that assigns value to parameters. 
  • JSON – This refers to Javascript Object Notation. It is a format used for storing and transporting data. 
  • Request and Response – this refers to the various methods that tell the API how you want to use your data. 
  • CRUD – This stands for create, read, update, delete. These are the four basic actions your API that were covered in a previous section, reworded. 
  • Curl- This is a command that is often used to interact with REST API endpoints. It is also the default format to display requests. 
  • Header Parameters – These are related to authorization and they typically appear in the request header. 

Now that you are an expert on the majority of terms and concepts associated with APIs, you may find you still have specific questions about the interworkings of APIs, and the Reddit Ads API specifically. These topics can be complicated, detailed, and full of jargon that can potentially trip you up and slow down your Reddit Ads API set up. Luckily, there are many experts on these topics who are more than willing to share their technical knowledge with the masses. 

Where to find additional API references

When you are researching API details on your own, you may find yourself in need of additional resources to fully understand and execute the steps necessary. If you find yourself in need of some clarifying information while you are working your way through Reddit Ads API many resources are available to you online. You may be able to find both long and short answers to your questions through an internet search. Similarly, you can turn to Reddit to find the information that you need. You can choose to ask other Redditors or to find a Reddit admin. 

If you decide to look up the answers to all of your API questions online, you’ll want to make sure that you are always using reputable sources for your information. It will be helpful for you to check the webpage for the date it was created or the last day it was updated. Outdated information won’t do much to help you stay on top of API knowledge. Once you find a reputable source for API information, you may find a plethora of related links that can help you solve a whole host of problems that may potentially pop up as you continue to study API. 

Reddit is another great resource for your Reddit specific API questions. While the average Redditor may not know a lot about the topic, you can find helpful technology subreddits, as well as Reddit advertising subreddits where you can post your questions. You’ll likely find a few experts who are willing to share their Reddit Ads API knowledge with you. Make sure that you search Reddit for your specific question before asking it. There’s always a chance that a curious Redditor before you has already asked it and the answer may already exist on the site. 

If the answer already exists, you’ll want to double-check that the post is not out of date. If the post is a few years old, it is probably worth your time to restate the question. Similarly, you’ll want to ensure that the subreddit where you choose to pose your question is an active one, otherwise, your post may go unanswered. 

You’ll find that Reddit has documents with step by step API instructions, as well as updated terms for Reddit Ads API. If you’re still struggling with the setup process after parsing through these documents, you can also look for the contact information for the admin in charge of Reddit Ads API. An API admin will almost certainly have the correct answer for you, but you may need to exercise patience as you wait for their reply. Remember that it is a large site, and Reddit employees have many other emails and problems to solve. 

Reddit Resources

The Complete List of Subreddits That You Can Advertise On
Reddit Polls
How to Get on The Front Page of Reddit
How to Block Subreddits?
What Is The Reddit Logo Called?
What Age Group Uses Reddit?
How Do I Promote My Product On Reddit?
Guide To Getting Backlinks From Reddit
Reddit Ads vs Facebook Ads
How To Advertise On Reddit For Free
Reddit Ad Examples
Reddit Ads API – Detailed Set Up & Usage Guide