In an internal memo sent Monday afternoon to Reddit staff, CEO Steve Huffman addressed the recent blowback directed at the company, telling employees to block out the “noise” and that the ongoing blackout of thousands of subreddits will eventually pass.
The memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Verge, is in response to popular subreddits going dark this week in protest of the company’s increased API pricing for third-party apps. Some of the most popular Reddit clients say the bill for keeping their apps up and running could cost them millions of dollars a year. More than 8,000 Reddit communities have gone dark in protest, and while many plan to open up again on Wednesday, some have said they’ll stay private indefinitely until Reddit makes changes.
Huffman says the blackout hasn’t had “significant revenue impact” and that the company anticipates that many of the subreddits will come back online by Wednesday. “There’s a lot of noise with this one. Among the noisiest we’ve seen. Please know that our teams are on it, and like all blowups on Reddit, this one will pass as well,” the memo reads. “We absolutely must ship what we said we would. The only long term solution is improving our product, and in the short term we have a few upcoming critical mod tool launches we need to nail.”
Huffman also warns employees about wearing Reddit items in public, saying the anger directed at the API pricing changes could make them “the object of [users’] frustrations.”
Reddit first announced it would be changing its API pricing in April, positioning the changes as a way to make money from companies using Reddit data to train artificial intelligence tools. But over the last couple weeks, it’s become clear that changes could come at a major price to third-party app developers, too, and the makers of apps like Apollo for Reddit and rif is fun for Reddit have announced that they will have to shut down on June 30th — one day before the new pricing is supposed to go into effect. Outraged users organized the widespread subreddit blackouts, which briefly crashed the site on Monday.
Read the full internal memo from Reddit CEO Steve Huffman below:
Starting last night, about a thousand subreddits have gone private. We do anticipate many of them will come back by Wednesday, as many have said as much. While we knew this was coming, it is a challenge nevertheless and we have our work cut out for us. A number of Snoos have been working around the clock, adapting to infrastructure strains, engaging with communities, and responding to the myriad of issues related to this blackout. Thank you, team.
We have not seen any significant revenue impact so far and we will continue to monitor.
There’s a lot of noise with this one. Among the noisiest we’ve seen. Please know that our teams are on it, and like all blowups on Reddit, this one will pass as well. The most important things we can do right now are stay focused, adapt to challenges, and keep moving forward. We absolutely must ship what we said we would. The only long term solution is improving our product, and in the short term we have a few upcoming critical mod tool launches we need to nail.
While the two biggest third-party apps, Apollo and RIF, along with a couple others, have said they plan to shut down at the end of the month, we are still in conversation with some of the others. And as I mentioned in my post last week, we will exempt accessibility-focused apps and so far have agreements with RedReader and Dystopia.
I am sorry to say this, but please be mindful of wearing Reddit gear in public. Some folks are really upset, and we don’t want you to be the object of their frustrations.
Again, we’ll get through it. Thank you to all of you for helping us do so.