The Reddit Blackout: Why and What Happens Next?

In June 2023, over 8,000 subreddits went private or read-only in protest over the sweeping changes in Reddit’s API pricing policy.

Why has something that sounds as dry as API (short for application programming interface) ignited one of the largest user protests in social media history?

Reddit first announced a change in its API pricing in April, explaining that it was meant to help Reddit earn from companies that use Reddit data to train AI tools.

Why Is There a Reddit Blackout?

But in the weeks since, it became clear that the changes would also drastically affect third-party app developers, like Apollo for Reddit.

One of the policy changes set to roll out on July 1 would charge $0.24 for every 1,000 API calls.

This process is integral to the services provided by these third-party apps, and will soon be too expensive for them to maintain. The new policy would cost Apollo $20 million a year.

This has led Apollo, alongside apps like rif is fun for Reddit and Sync, to announce that they will shut down their services by June 30.

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