Millions come together for Reddit API protest

Onur Demirkol
Jun 12, 2023

The Reddit API protest has recently started after the website's new policies and modifications, and as a result, many subreddits decided to cease operations for two days to make the website reconsider its decision. However, it looks like Reddit won't back down from its decision, and protests might not be that effective. Today we will give you the details about the protests as well as the "subreddits go dark list."

From June 12 to June 14, thousands of Reddit communities, also known as subreddits, will go dark in protest of planned API changes that would essentially kill off many third-party applications.

reddit api protest
Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique

What is the reason behind the Reddit API protest?

Reddit decided to increase its API prices drastically, and that caused some of the most used third-party apps like "Apollo" and "rif is fun for Reddit" to cease operations. That is the main reason behind the Reddit API protest, as it will, in a way, change a couple of old habits, and two of the most famous third-party applications will no longer be available for the users.

Apollo's founder Christian Selig announced that the application will cease its operations as it is "impossible for Apollo to continue."

Up until this point, Reddit has made its API available to everyone. On the other hand, the company said on April 18 that, as part of an update to its API terms, it will begin charging developers for API access on July 1, 2023. Reddit made its decision a few months after Twitter made the announcement that it was suspending all third-party apps and forcing users to use its official app and website.

Reddit's CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman said in an April interview with the New York Times that "more than any other place on the internet, Reddit is a home for authentic conversation." However, that title may be taken from Huffman's website by the Reddit API protest. The "subreddits going dark list" is evidence that it is true.

The "subreddits go dark" list

The "subreddits go dark" list is pretty long, but we gathered some of the most famous ones. You can check the full list on Reddark. Here are some of the subreddits with millions of subscribers that will go dark for the Reedit API protest:

  • r/funny (49 million subscribers)
  • r/gaming (37 million)
  • r/aww (34 million)
  • r/todayilearned (31 million)
  • r/Pics (30 million)
  • r/Videos (26 million)
  • r/Music (23 million)
  • r/food (23 million)
  • r/Art (22 million)
  • r/gadgets (21 million)
  • r/sports (20 million)
Reddit API Protest
Reddit API Protest

Reddit API changes

Reddit's CEO, Steve Huffman, claims that it has become too expensive to provide open API access while the platform is having financial difficulties. "Reddit needs to be a self-sustaining business and to do that, we can no longer subsidize commercial entities that require large-scale data use," he stated in a post on Friday.

Huffman made the remarks as more Reddit groups prepared to go dark on June 12 in opposition to the firm's choice to charge for access to the API. This involves requesting $0.24 for every 1,000 API requests.

Apollo, a third-party Reddit client, announced it will shut down on June 30 as a result of the new price system since it would cost $20 million a year to maintain the software. Reddit's CEO defended the upcoming API change, which will go into effect on July 1, at an Ask Me Anything on Friday.

Reddit alternatives

Reddit is really a special platform where millions of people unite to follow and discuss politics, sports, their favorite niches, and almost everything you can think of. It is not easy to find a replacement even after the Reddit API protest, but we have a couple of alternatives for you to check out. Here are the Reddit alternatives:

  • Hive
  • Quora
  • 4Chan
  • Steemit
  • ProductHunt

Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Mark said on June 14, 2023 at 8:26 am

    Doesn’t matter. I never use Reddit. Don’t know of anyone in my broader association circle (probably 100+ people) who do.

    Where are the people who do actually use it or is it just run by bots to push up user numbers?

    1. Anonymous said on June 14, 2023 at 11:27 am

      People use reddit, calm down. Definitely real people as well, sheesh!

      “I don’t use something, I don’t know anyone that uses it either, therefore it’s got no real users!”

      You are probably just the wrong demographic/age. There’s lots of “soy” on reddit, but occasional wisdom/useful info can be gained.

  2. Verity_kindle said on June 13, 2023 at 2:15 am

    I haven’t been on 4chan since college and I’m a little afraid to go back. That list of alternatives is lacking. How about Lemmy? An Apple repair dude once gave me this piece of wisdom over the wreck of an old Macbook : “Never go back, always go forward.” Also, Huffman is just Michael Scott with money. He’ll keep shooting himself in the foot. It will be enjoyable.

    1. Anonymous said on June 14, 2023 at 11:29 am

      Not sure about the quote “Never go back, always go forward”, it’s a very progressive notion – sometimes “forward” is worse or just a complete failure, and in such a circumstance, going back is actually going forward.

  3. Recep said on June 12, 2023 at 3:23 pm

    Did chatgpt come up with those alternatives?

  4. Toxic said on June 12, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    I think it wont matter…Reddit’s API changes will go trough,forcing people to use their app,it has to do with ads but more importantly data…data is becoming the new oil and they want all of it and everything about you,0 privacy and that makes them a lot of money,once those api changes go into effect those who value privacy will leave reddit and wont look back,me included

    1. Ashray said on June 12, 2023 at 3:27 pm

      It’s not only about privacy, but also about usability and user experience. If the CEO doesn’t do anything about it, the platform will start dying or well let’s say even more and faster.

    2. Shadow_Death said on June 12, 2023 at 3:01 pm

      Yep, I’m preparing to complete redact my account and then delete it.

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