Reddit Users Protest Against API Pricing Changes and Many Communities go Dark in Protest


In April, Reddit’s CEO and co-founder had announced that Reddit would charge fees for its API in the future. Reddit users are now protesting against the new API pricing policy, which charges third-party apps for the use of their API. Reddit users protest against API pricing changes these days and many communities go dark in protest.

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According to reports, Reddit communities decided to protest after Apollo app developer Christian Selig shared details about his conversation with Reddit about the new API pricing. Apollo is a Reddit app with a slick iOS design. Selig mentioned that his app has to pay $20 million a year to Reddit to keep running. “I had a conversation with Reddit to discuss pricing. The bad news for third-party apps: the announced pricing is close to Twitter. And, Apollo would have to pay Reddit $20 million per year to keep operating,” the Reddit post reads. It added that Reddit would not be flexible on this pricing.

Many users commented on the post expressing solidarity with Apollo. “Their prices are hair-raising,” wrote one user, While another wrote, “Reddit is jealous you guys made a better app. Shame on greed.” One more user wrote, “That sucks sorry to read this! I guess June 30th then will also be the last day I use Reddit”.

Another Apollo post confirmed that the app will shut down on June 30th because it can’t keep up with the new pricing policy. Several users who use Apollo expressed disappointment. To protest the API pricing, millions of communities or over 300 subreddits reportedly shut down on June 12th. This means that community posts are only accessible to members and not other users.

While some communities will remain dark forever, other Reddit communities reportedly plan to return after 48 hours. Some of the communities with millions of followers that joined the protest are r/apple, r/funny, r/PS5, and r/gaming. When you’re talking about half of the entire site, the pressure is much greater. We work completely on a volunteer basis and we don’t receive any financial compensation. And yet we take it very seriously,” a moderator of a popular subreddit told the BBC.

Reddit’s CEO had commented on reports of protests by Reddit users two days ago, saying that ‘Reddit needs to be a self-sustaining company and to achieve that, they can no longer subsidize commercial posts that require large-scale data use’.

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