Redditors Revolt Over API Pricing
June 13, 2023
1 min 26 sec read
Reddit's old slogan used to be "The front page of the Internet," and now they're making the front page of the news online instead.
Reddit is seeing over 7000 communities go private in protest over its API pricing increase
In April, the company announced it was going to charge more for accessing Reddit's API to make money off of big-name developers.
They're doing this because ChatGPT and other businesses that create generative AI tools are banking off Reddit's data to fuel their large language models.
Twitter made the same move of increasing its API prices in March because of the same thing; these AI tools use Reddit and Twitter as main sources of conversational input.
But the outrage isn't coming from ChatGPT or those who make generative AI products. It's the 3rd-party Reddit apps and users on them that are furious, most notably, Apolloapp.io.
Apollo is a popular app used by millions to browse Reddit since it offers a better user experience and functionality, and is compatible with screen readers.
The maker of Apollo was quoted around $2 million a month to keep the app running and announced that they'd be shutting down by the end of June.
Reddit's API price increase is pushing Apollo and many smaller 3rd-party developers out of the market.
When news got around that Apollo would shut down, it sparked a backlash among Reddit community managers.
As a result, over 7,000 subreddits are going private for 48 hours (June 12 - 14) or indefinitely until Reddit changes its API pricing policy. Some of these communities have millions of users within them, so although 7,000 isn't a lot, it's still a big deal.
In fact, when these thousands of subreddits went dark on June 12, the website briefly faced an outage.
So far, Reddit won't budge on its decision, but we'll keep you posted on this story as more news develops.
: June 15, 2023, around 300 and counting communities plan to keep the protest going and go dark indefinitely. Reddit's CEO responded, "Like all blowups on Reddit, this one will pass as well."
We'll just have to see.
Want to read this in Spanish? Spanish Version >>