It happened: popular third-party Reddit apps like Apollo, Sync, and BaconReader have shut down due to the company’s planned API changes.
Ever since Apollo for Reddit developer Christian Selig revealed he’d be on the hook for $20 million per year due to the changes, Redditors have been furious over how the updates might affect third-party apps. More than 8,000 of Reddit’s communities went dark as a part of a coordinated protest.
Though Reddit announced it would exempt accessibility-focused apps from the pricing changes, things looked grim for other developers. On June 8th, Selig announced he would have to shut down Apollo, and soon after, other developers said they’d be shutting down their apps, too.
As the protests have gone on, Reddit has pushed moderators to reopen. While some have returned with their own spins on the protest, Reddit has told some mods of at least one community that it “will not” stay private and warned moderators of some closed ones that it will remove them — and it seems like Reddit’s efforts may have worked.
However, the company brought back its r/Place collaborative project in July, and some people used it as a place to express their unhappiness toward the company.
Here’s our coverage of the changes and unrest on Reddit.
- The AMA’s done.
I can’t see anything in Reddit’s AMA with CEO Steve Huffman about the API changes to indicate that it’s over, but Reddit spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt tells me that it’s done. Based on Reddit’s stickied comment, Huffman answered 14 questions, while a few other admins jumped in with seven replies. As of this writing, the AMA had more than 16,000 comments.
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman hosted a promised AMA on Friday over the platform’s controversial API changes, but based on the tone of his initial message and some replies, it doesn’t seem like Reddit will be budging on potentially expensive API updates that have caused multiple developers to announce they will be shutting down their apps.Read Article >
“On 4/18, we shared that we would update access to the API, including premium access for third parties who require additional capabilities and higher usage limits,” Huffman, who goes by u/spez on Reddit, wrote in the initial post for his AMA. “Reddit needs to be a self-sustaining business, and to do that, we can no longer subsidize commercial entities that require large-scale data use.”
Apollo for Reddit isn’t the only Reddit app that’s shutting down due to the company’s new API pricing: on Thursday, rif is fun for Reddit (previously Reddit is Fun), ReddPlanet, and Sync also announced that they would be shutting down on June 30th, the same day Apollo will be.Read Article >
rif is fun for Reddit is shutting down “in response to Reddit Inc’s API changes and their hostile treatment of developers building on their platform,” its developer wrote in a message on r/redditisfun. The developer said Reddit has “unfortunately shown a consistent unwillingness to compromise on all points” mentioned in a previous post, including expected costs “in the ballpark” of Apollo’s expected $20 million per year, Reddit’s decision to block ads in third-party apps, and the removal of sexually explicit content in third-party apps even though that content will still be available in Reddit’s official apps.
Apollo, one of the most beloved iOS apps used to browse Reddit, will be shutting down due to the company’s new API pricing that will make the app much more expensive to operate.Read Article >
The app will shut down on June 30th, according to developer Christian Selig. “Reddit’s recent decisions and actions have unfortunately made it impossible for Apollo to continue,” Selig wrote on Twitter.
Reddit is creating an exemption to its unpopular new API pricing terms for makers of accessibility apps, which could come as a big relief for some developers worried about how to afford the potentially expensive fees and the users that rely on the apps to browse Reddit. As long as those apps are noncommercial and “address accessibility needs,” they won’t have to pay to access Reddit’s data.Read Article >
“We’ve connected with select developers of non-commercial apps that address accessibility needs and offered them exemptions from our large-scale pricing terms,” Reddit spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt says in a statement to The Verge.
Update June 8th, 5:12PM ET: Apollo developer Christian Selig announced his app would shut down on June 30th. His announcement post on Reddit refuted Reddit’s accusations that his app was inefficient and contained a partial transcript of a call from a Reddit moderator where the company’s CEO apparently says that Selig tried to blackmail the company.Read Article >
Some of Reddit’s biggest communities including r/videos, r/reactiongifs, r/earthporn, and r/lifeprotips are planning to set themselves to private on June 12th 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.
Apollo, the popular Reddit app for iOS, could face millions of dollars in fees as a result of Reddit’s new paid API model. According to an update posted by developer Christian Selig, Reddit could charge Apollo roughly $20 million per year if it continues operating at its current scale.Read Article >
Reddit announced changes to its API policy in April, which allows the platform to put limits on the number of API requests made by a third-party client like Apollo. But now, we have more details on what exactly this means: Selig says Reddit plans on charging about $12,000 per 50 million requests.
Reddit announced new API changes today that will eventually pinch its content pipeline from being used to train artificial intelligence tools, including the models that power OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Microsoft’s Bing AI. AI chatbots’ abilities to provide powerful answers have data resources like Reddit to thank — and now Reddit is planning to put that robot food behind a paywall.Read Article >
Social media resources, including Reddit, are some of the sources used to train large language models (LLM) that can provide cogent responses to human prompts. Some of this data can be scraped in an unstructured manner, but Reddit’s API has helped companies make it easy to directly find and package useful data.