The company’s proposal to charge for access to its data prompted thousands of well-known Reddit communities to shut out its users on Monday, covering topics as diverse as Apple Inc., gaming, and music.
Beginning next month, third-party app developers using Reddit’s enormous data repositories will be required to pay a fee. The changes might have an impact on participants across the board, from tiny developers to larger firms like OpenAI.
The astronomical fees have “made it impossible” for the Apollo app to continue providing the service, which is well-known among Redditors for its alternative user experience to the official site.
Reddit said in April that it would begin charging third parties for its application programming interface (API), a software framework that enables a data supplier and an end-user to communicate with one another. The action has been in the works for weeks.
Reddit intends to start charging developers who want greater use caps $0.24 for every 1,000 API requests, or less than $1 per user, each month starting on July 1.
According to Apollo, the rates for their present usage would exceed $20 million annually.
Reddit’s discussion boards provide a wealth of information that may be used to train tools like ChatGPT, the popular chatbot from OpenAI, which is supported by Microsoft. Although some of this data can be gathered in an unstructured way, Reddit’s API makes it simpler for businesses to locate and gather the data directly.
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman stated that the “Reddit corpus of data is really valuable” in an interview with The New York Times in April. He stated that he does not want to “need to give all of that value to some of the largest companies in the world for free.”
Millions of users won’t be able to access the pages during the 48-hour blackout most of the moderators of Reddit’s subreddits, which are forums dedicated to a certain topic, have planned in protest of the change.
Participating subreddits include r/Music, r/Games, r/Science, and r/Todayilearned, all of which have more than 30 million users. Some people, such as r/Music, intend to protest forever.
Reddit relies largely on volunteer community moderators, sometimes known as “mods,” who police their subreddits for free to remove objectionable or illegal content, unlike the majority of other social media platforms.
The Apollo app for Reddit was developed by Christian Selig, who announced last week that the service would end on June 30.
Other third-party apps, like Reddit is Fun and Sync, have reportedly determined the new pricing “doesn’t work for their businesses” and will shut down prior to the pricing taking effect, according to Huffman.
Huffman acknowledged on Friday that many Reddit community moderators are frustrated, but he also stated that the firm must become a “self-sustaining business” in order for it to continue to support businesses that demand extensive data use.
In January, Elon Musk’s Twitter revised its developer access policies and barred all outside clients and apps.
According to the updated policies, developers are not permitted to utilise the company’s API to produce “a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter Application.”