Published in News

Reddit's users revolt over third party app pricing

by on06 June 2023

Setting themselves to private 

Some of Reddit's biggest communities including r/videos, r/reactiongifs, r/earthporn, and r/lifeprotips are planning to set themselves to private on 12 June over new pricing for third-party app developers to access the site's APIs. 

Setting a subreddit to private, aka "going dark," will mean that the communities taking part will be inaccessible by the wider public while the planned 48-hour protest is taking place.

As a Reddit post about the protest, that's since been cross-posted to several participating subreddits, explains: "On 12 June, many subreddits will be going dark to protest this policy. Some will return after 48 hours: others will go away permanently unless the issue is adequately addressed, since many moderators aren't able to put in the work they do with the poor tools available through the official app."

The poster said that this is not something the admins do lightly and it is only being done because the users love Reddit, and we truly believe this change will make it impossible to keep doing what we love.

A complete list of the hundreds of communities taking part (known in Reddit parlance as "subreddits") includes dozens with over a million subscribers each.

Developers of several third-party Reddit apps have said the future of their services have been threatened by the company’s new pricing. The developer behind Apollo, for example, said that at its current rate of making 7 billion requests per month, it would need to pay $1.7 million for access to Reddit’s API, or $20 million a year.

Developer Christian Selig said that he did not see how this pricing was based in reality or remotely reasonable.

“I hope it goes without saying that I don’t have that kind of money or would even know how to charge it to a credit card.”

Reddit argues that the new API charges should be affordable if third-party apps were efficient with the API calls they make. “Our pricing is $0.24 per 1000 API calls, which equates to <$1.00 per user monthly for a reasonably operated app,” they wrote.

“Apollo as an app is less efficient than its peers and at times has been excessive — probably because it has been free to be so.”

But the developers behind other third-party Reddit apps have expressed similar concerns. Reddit is Fun said it would have to pay a figure “in the same ballpark” as Apollo to continue to operate and that it “does not earn anywhere remotely near this number.” The developer behind Narwhal said it will be “dead in 30 days” as a result of the charges.

The potential for third-party apps to cease operations is particularly problematic for subreddit moderators, who say they often rely on these tools to manage their communities.


Last modified on 06 June 2023
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Read more about: