Reddit Blackout: Starting Monday, for the next 48 hours, prominent Reddit pages with millions of followers are going offline to protest against the social network’s API charges for third-party apps. Subreddits dedicated to music, movies, games, and celebrities have decided to protest against Reddit’s new regulation and more than 3,000-page moderators have chosen to take their pages offline indefinitely.
In April, Reddit had announced application programming interface users have to pay a nominal amount to the platform, stating it needs to be “fairly paid.”
According to developers, it will become really expensive to run third-party Reddit apps, and most of the page moderators are now supporting the Reddit blackout by making their pages private. While some have plans to come back after 48 hours, some third-party apps are claiming they will stay shut until Reddit retracts its new regulation. Reddit was launched in 2005, and the official app was only released in 2016. Until then, Reddit was completely dependent on third-party apps.
Furthermore, according to some users, select third-party Reddit applications have better user interfaces and even offer more accessibility features, making them better than the official app.
Even now, users can use and host pages on the Reddit official app/website free of cost. However, third-party Reddit apps such as Apollo, Narwhal, Relay, and Infinity now have to pay API fees to keep their apps up and running.
While Reddit hasn’t officially unveiled API charges, a Sky News report said Apollo, a third-party app built using Reddit API, claims the company is asking $0.24 for 1000 calls. Considering this price, Apollo has to pay a whopping fee of $2 million a month or $20 million per year. Do note that these third-party apps do make money by serving ads to the users.
In this case, Reddit has argued it has to charge API users to make up for the hosting fee, and even recommends app developers make their maps more efficient to reduce calls.
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