Working with Reddit Rate Limits

Learn about Reddit rate limits and how you can overcome them.
Written by Grant, Creator of Postpone
Updated 9 months ago

What are rate limits?

Rate limits are a mechanism where Reddit limits the number of posts users can submit over a period of time. A “rate limited” post is one where Postpone attempted to submit the post but Reddit responded with a message in the form of “please wait 14 minutes.”

Reddit has separate rate limits for submitting posts and submitting comments. These rate limits primarily exist to cut down on spam or low effort posts from newer accounts. All Reddit accounts and apps must adhere to these rules.

To learn more about Reddit rate limits check out the post "Why am I being told, 'You're doing that too much…'?" from Reddit's help center.

What criteria does Reddit use to determine rate limits?

Reddit does not disclose the algorithm they use to determine whether a post should be rate limited. However, there are several criteria that we know can affect this. This criteria includes:

  • The account's age. Accounts created in the last week will be rate limited more than an account created over 6 months ago.
  • The account's link and comment karma. Accounts with low karma will be rate limited more than accounts with higher karma.
  • Whether the account has a verified email or not. A verified email helps ensure the account is run by a real person rather than a bot.
  • The percentage of posts which are removed by subreddit moderators. Accounts that often have posts removed by subreddit moderators or Reddit itself will be rate limited more than accounts that follow subreddit rules.
  • The accounts prior contributions to the subreddit. Reddit also keeps track of how many times a user has contributed to a particular subreddit and rate limits newer contributors.

How can I avoid getting rate limiting?

With these criteria in mind there are a few things you can do to help ensure your account is not rate limited as much:

  • Contribute solid content. When you contribute great content at the right time Redditors upvote your content and your link karma goes up. This affects both your overall karma and your karma for that particular subreddit.
  • Participate in communities by commenting. Even a little bit of comment karma goes a long way. Show you're not just submitting your own posts but also interacting with the community.
  • Verify your email. Make sure your account has a verified email attached to it.
  • Follow subreddit rules. Some subreddits require verification before posting. Others have a minimum account age or karma requirements before posting. Be sure to read through a new subreddit's rules before posting to ensure your posts don't get removed by moderators or Reddit.
  • Request to be an approved submitter. Subreddits are managed by moderators. It's possible to request for your account to become an approved submitter to those subreddits, which will help reduce rate limits in those subreddits.
  • Wait. This one is less fun, however the only way for your account's age to to increase is to wait for the passage of time. Fortunately there are other things you can do in the meantime!

How does Postpone handle rate limits?

Postpone attempts to submit scheduled posts every 5 minutes. We grab all of the posts that are ready to submit and submit them one by one.

If we receive a rate limit error while submitting a post then we will automatically reschedule that Reddit account's posts until it's safe to submit again. Let's go over an example.

Let's say you have 10 posts scheduled to submit at 10:00 am. At that time Postpone will attempt to submit the posts one at a time. The first 2 submit correctly, but the 3rd post receives a rate limit error: “please wait 5 minutes.” Postpone will automatically reschedule that post and the other 7 remaining posts to submit again in 5 minutes, since any additional attempts will fail until then. We will reschedule a post up to 6 times by default; after that we will mark the post as failed. (Note: you can change how many times Postpone retries your posts from the Settings page)

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