Reddit ups API pricing, forces 3rd party apps out of business

Reddit on a warpath to exterminate 3rd party apps


In a recent AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman addressed the platform’s controversial API changes, indicating that Reddit is unlikely to reverse its stance on the updates. The API changes have sparked backlash from developers, leading several apps, including Apollo and ReddPlanet, to announce their closure. Huffman emphasized the need for Reddit to become a self-sustaining business and stated that the platform could no longer subsidize commercial entities that rely on large-scale data use. Despite requests for reconsideration, it appears that Reddit will not be making amends with the affected apps, although Huffman expressed openness to engage with those willing to work with the platform.

The full tea

During the AMA, Huffman responded to claims made by Apollo developer Christian Selig, who alleged that Huffman told Reddit moderators that Apollo had “threatened” the company in an attempt to secure $10 million. Huffman did not confirm or deny Selig’s claim directly, but criticized Selig’s behavior and communications with Reddit, which he described as inconsistent and contradictory.

The controversy surrounding the API changes began when Reddit announced that access to the API would be updated, including premium access for third-party developers requiring additional capabilities and higher usage limits. This announcement resulted in concerns about potential financial burdens for developers, with Selig stating that Reddit might charge him $20 million annually. Several major Reddit communities subsequently planned to go dark from June 12th to June 14th in protest.

Despite the outcry, Huffman’s statements in the AMA indicated that Reddit is unlikely to reverse its decision. Apps like Apollo, Reddit is Fun, and Sync have already announced their closure due to the pricing structure, while others continue to engage in discussions with Reddit. However, some developers have claimed that Reddit has been unresponsive to their attempts to communicate, further deepening their frustration.

In response to questions about the restriction of explicit and NSFW content in third-party apps, Huffman explained that Reddit intends to keep such content but must adhere to stricter regulations surrounding adult content. He cited the constant struggle to manage and regulate explicit content as a reason for enforcing stricter guidelines on where it can appear.

While Reddit has made some concessions, exempting accessibility-focused apps from the pricing changes, concerns persist among the affected developers. The r/Blind subreddit, which initially protested the changes due to potential implications for accessibility apps, still expressed concerns about the limitations imposed on exempt third-party apps and the financial pressures faced by developers who are expected to maintain these apps for free.

In conclusion, Reddit’s recent API changes and the subsequent AMA with CEO Steve Huffman have shed light on the platform’s decision to prioritize self-sustainability. The unwillingness to reconsider the updates has led to the closure of popular third-party apps and strained relations between Reddit and affected developers. The impact on app accessibility and concerns about the longevity of exemptions granted to certain apps remain areas of contention within the Reddit community.

For the people who have been as avid Apollo users as I, it’s been a pleasure serving with you. Ciao and bye bye.

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