Reddit communities like r/videos, r/reactiongifs, r/earthporn, and r/lifeprotips, will be going private for 48 hours from June 12th as a response to changes in pricing for third-party app developers who want access to Reddit’s APIs.
The protest is driven by concerns raised by moderators who are unhappy with the cost and functionality of Reddit’s official app tools. A statement posted on participating subreddits explains that while some communities may return after the protest, others may disappear permanently unless the issue is addressed adequately. Moderators argue that the official app’s limited tools impede their ability to perform their roles effectively.
These developers claim that the company’s new pricing structure poses a threat to the future of their services. Apollo, one such app, disclosed that based on their current rate of making seven billion monthly requests, they would have to pay $1.7 million per month, equating to $20 million annually, for access to Reddit’s API.
Despite moderators’ worries, a Reddit staffer justified the increased API fees, claiming that they should be cheap provided third-party apps use the API calls effectively. They clarified that the fee is around $0.24 per 1000 API requests, or less than $1.00 per user per month for a well-managed service. The employee said that certain apps, such as Apollo, were inefficient and surpassed normal API consumption, maybe because they were free.
The sources for this piece include an article in TheVerge.