Reddit Embraces a New Era Following API Changes

The widely used social media hub, Reddit, has recently experienced sweeping transformations within its data API, catalyzing a chain of events that have ignited fervent controversy and discontent among its extensive user bases. Over the preceding month, the company’s CEO staunchly defended its strategic decisions, while developers and moderators found themselves embroiled in escalating conflicts. Concurrently, a multitude of subreddits opted for blackout initiatives and multifaceted protests, signaling a watershed moment in its trajectory.

These events signal a pivotal juncture as it braces for a forthcoming chapter marked by a diminished presence of third-party apps, an intensified concentration on proprietary applications, and an increasingly dissatisfied user community. This article meticulously dissects the unfolding events of the recent month and endeavors to illuminate the anticipated trajectory for Reddit in the days ahead.

The Controversial June

In the initial days of June, Christian Selig, the innovative mind behind the widely acclaimed Reddit application known as Apollo, publicly revealed his dialogue with it’s upper echelon concerning the intricate pricing framework of their API. Selig outlined an estimation suggesting that the operational expenses for his app could potentially surge to nearly $20 million annually. This disclosure triggered a ripple effect among fellow third-party Reddit app developers, who echoed comparable apprehensions about the trajectory and sustainability of their respective applications.

In response to these concerns, numerous subreddits chose to go dark from June 12th to 14th in protest of the API changes. Moreover, Selig declared his intention to close down Apollo by the month’s end. Prompting similar decisions from other applications such as Reddit is Fun and Sync for it. with their closures. it’s CEO, Steve Huffman, conducted an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on the site to address the situation and defend the company’s decision. Huffman emphasized that Reddit would remain profit-driven until it becomes profitable and criticized Selig in the process.

CEO Sparks Controversy Amid Subreddit Blackout

Amidst the ongoing blackout by thousands of subreddits, Huffman participated in a series of interviews. He referred to protesting moderators as the “landed gentry” and discussed the possibility of redefining moderator rules to enable the community to vote them out if necessary. Huffman also expressed discontent with the fact that third-party developers were making money. It had to bear an infrastructure cost of $10 million per year.

In a forceful response, Selig and a coalition of developers emphatically contested it’s claims regarding their collaborative initiatives. Selig elaborated in a comprehensive post, recounting a prior conversation with the company during which he specifically delved into the potential alterations to the API. During this exchange, it categorically assured him that there were no plans for such changes on the horizon.


During the protest spanning from June 12th to 14th, the palpable effects reverberated across it, visibly impacting site traffic and even registering repercussions on Google search outcomes. Notwithstanding these consequences, it staunchly maintained that the protest had no discernible dent on its revenue stream. Consequently, several subreddits elected to extend their blackout duration, offering their community members an empowered stance in shaping the future trajectory of their respective online domains.

In response to Reddit administrators’ veiled threats of reopening these subreddits, these impassioned communities pivoted to alternative modes of protest, leveraging tactics such as flooding their pages with images of John Oliver, orchestrating designated blackout days, and reshaping the thematic focus within their communities.

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