Reddit communities go dark to protest upcoming API changes

The Reddit alien.
(Image credit: Reddit)

What you need to know

  • Thousands of Reddit communities are inaccessible for a 48-hour period to protest the platform's harsh API pricing changes.
  • The Apollo app, set to close June 30, can no longer afford to sustain operations after realizing it'd need to fork over $20 million per year to remain open.
  • Reddit remains adamant about its decision and has shown no signs of changing anything.

Redditors are acting upon their choice to go dark on Reddit for the next couple of days in protest against the platform's API decision. Reddit's CEO Steve Huffman recently explained the upcoming API pricing changes for third-party apps, showing no signs of shying away. With them set to go into effect on July 1, Reddit's changes will see prices skyrocket for third-party apps using the platform's API to service its thousands and potentially millions of users.

The sharp increase is ludicrous, to say the least, and this is what caused one developer (among others) to speak up. Christian Selig, the creator of the Apollo app, posted on his application's subreddit to discuss what was happening with Reddit and the proposed API alterations. With the new changes, Apollo would need to pay $0.24 for 1,000 API calls, and Selig states that at his app's performance, that would see them paying $2 million per month, totaling the potential $20 million or more every single year.

At the time, Selig didn't see a way to continue operating, stating, "This is going to require some thinking. I asked Reddit if they were flexible on this pricing or not, and they stated that it's their understanding that no, this will be the pricing..."

Selig later posted again, this time on a sour note, alerting the Apollo subreddit of over 800,000 users that it would shutter its door on June 30. Other apps following Apollo will be the Reddit is Fun app and Sync.

To protest the upcoming changes, many subreddits have gone offline on Monday, June 12. As spotted by 9to5Google, many Android-specific subreddits for informal discussions, such as r/Android, r/AndroidAuto, r/Samsung, and r/GooglePixel have gone dark. Thousands of other subreddits have also gone dark for the next 48 hours.

Many users and developers have brought up how it appears as though Reddit is trying to echo decisions made by Twitter. Former CEO of Twitter, Elon Musk, has had quite a distasteful relationship with third-party clients. After completely killing off third-party apps at the top of the year, the company instead decided to outprice developers of such apps by charging them $42,000 per month to simply access the platform's API and serve their users.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.

  • fuzzylumpkin
    Boycotting for 48 hours is exactly the same as not boycotting at all, possibly even less effective. They should go dark and stay dark.
  • Rim85
    fuzzylumpkin said:
    Boycotting for 48 hours is exactly the same as not boycotting at all, possibly even less effective. They should go dark and stay dark.
    Probably, and a quick check-in today not a really big difference except for a few subs.