Reddit's CEO isn't worried about the 8,000+ subreddits going offline, 'this one will pass'

More than 8,000 subreddits containing millions of members have decided to go dark in protest of Reddit increasing API pricing for third-party apps.

2 minutes & 36 seconds read time

Nearly 10,000 subreddits have joined the digital picket line by protesting the recent changes Reddit has made to its API pricing for third-party developers.

Reddit's CEO isn't worried about the 8,000+ subreddits going offline, 'this one will pass' 61512

More than 8,000 subreddits that contain more than 40 million members have decided to go dark, or offline, in protest to Reddit's changes to its API pricing that are expected to be implemented as early as next month. Reddit communities have expressed their distain for company's changes to its API as third-party developers that are behind some extremely popular third-party Reddit tools will now need to pay exorbitant fees to keep their apps up and running.

Notably, these changes to Reddit's API pricing came after the company realized a large portion of the platform's data was being used to train potentially lucrative AI-powered tools such as OpenAI's ChatGPT. In an effort to charge AI developers for Reddits plethora of data the company has increased its price, which has led to Reddit moderators feeling the pinch. Many moderators of subreddits use third-party tools to speed up their moderating process, which they do voluntarily.

Many moderators feel like their free work has been undermined as the changes to Reddits API pricing make it virtually impossible for these third-party apps and tools to exist, thus making their voluntary job much more difficult.

Reddit has said that it needs to make these changes in order for the company to stay afloat. Now, an internal Reddit memo obtained by The Verge reveals the Reddit CEO Steve Huffman's response to the thousands of subreddits going dark. Some of the most important parts are bolded.

Hi Snoos,

Starting last night, about a thousand subreddits have gone private. We do anticipate many of them will come back by Wednesday, as many have said as much. While we knew this was coming, it is a challenge nevertheless and we have our work cut out for us. A number of Snoos have been working around the clock, adapting to infrastructure strains, engaging with communities, and responding to the myriad of issues related to this blackout. Thank you, team.

We have not seen any significant revenue impact so far and we will continue to monitor.

There's a lot of noise with this one. Among the noisiest we've seen. Please know that our teams are on it, and like all blowups on Reddit, this one will pass as well. The most important things we can do right now are stay focused, adapt to challenges, and keep moving forward. We absolutely must ship what we said we would. The only long term solution is improving our product, and in the short term we have a few upcoming critical mod tool launches we need to nail.

While the two biggest third-party apps, Apollo and RIF, along with a couple others, have said they plan to shut down at the end of the month, we are still in conversation with some of the others. And as I mentioned in my post last week, we will exempt accessibility-focused apps and so far have agreements with RedReader and Dystopia.

I am sorry to say this, but please be mindful of wearing Reddit gear in public. Some folks are really upset, and we don't want you to be the object of their frustrations.

Again, we'll get through it. Thank you to all of you for helping us do so.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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