Thousands of Reddit communities remain dark in protest against API changes that force some third-party developers to shut down their apps. It’s a startling change for many members of the Reddit community, but it’s what Reddit CEO Steve Huffman says. on the edge That he is good at preparing. Those third-party apps, in his view, don’t add much value to the site.
“So, most applications of the API – no [third-party apps like Apollo for Reddit] – The other 98 percent of them make tools, bots, and improvements on Reddit. That’s what the API is for,” says Huffman. “It was never designed to support third-party apps.” According to Huffman, he “let it be,” and “I have to take the blame for that because I was the guy who argued for so long.”
Huffman is now taking issue with third-party apps that make up his own business. “I don’t know – it’s my fault – they’re profiting from our API. These are not charities.
“It was our business decision, and we’re not undoing that business decision.”
I asked him that Apollo, rif for Reddit, and Sync are all slated to close as a result of the price changes, adding no value to Reddit. “They don’t take as much,” he says. “No way.”
“They have to pay for it. That’s fair. What our colleagues did was ban them entirely. We said no, and you know what, we believe in free markets. You have to cover your costs,” he says. Apollo developer Christian Selig recently did the math for us. did VergecastHowever, Reddit suggested that it was nearly impossible to cover the asking price with 30 days’ notice.
Huffman didn’t have an answer for why the deadline was short, beyond wishing there was a deadline. “We’re absolutely open to working with people who want to work with us, including figuring out what the transition period will look like. But I think a deadline forces us to negotiate with the people involved.”
I also asked if Huffman truly believed that blackouts did not affect decision-making around API price changes. “In this case? It’s true,” says Huffman. “It was our business decision, and we’re not undoing that business decision.”
We’ll have more from our interview with Huffman soon.
While the company “respects the community’s right to protest” and promises not to force communities to reopen, Reddit also suggests it doesn’t need to; More than 80 percent of the top 5,000 communities of daily active users are now open. A fact sheet shared by the company on Thursday. In the fact sheet, Reddit writes that it has more than 100,000 “active communities,” the company sees 57 million “daily active uniques,” and more than 50,000 daily active moderators.
Reddit users are up in arms after Apollo for Reddit developer Christian Selick revealed in late May that he will receive $20 million a year under Reddit’s new terms. At the height of the protests last week, more than 8,000 subreddits went dark, and although the protests were only supposed to last from June 12 to June 14, many have extended their blackouts.
Some of the cases where Reddit has granted exceptions to allow apps to continue to operate have focused on accessibility. “Are the ones that do really good for our users — RedReader, Dystopia, Luna — really add real value at their own expense? We’re exempt,” Huffman says. “We’ll bear that cost.”