Reddit blackout follows new API pricing | Inquirer Technology

Reddit blackout follows new API pricing

09:45 AM June 13, 2023

Multiple subreddits became inactive as moderators protested the online forum’s new API pricing. According to Lifehacker, some participants said the new policy would make hosting their groups extremely expensive. Also, the new rule would forbid in-app advertising, which could offset costs. As a result, a Reddit blackout will span from June 12 to 14, 2023.

Online reference library Datareportal said Reddit has roughly 50 million daily active users and a billion monthly active users. Nowadays, numerous people rely on the platform to get the latest information, meet like-minded people, and offer other services. Understanding this issue further will show how important this platform is.

This article will discuss the ongoing Reddit blackout. Also, it will cover some of the largest subreddits that postponed their services to protest the announced pricing policy. More importantly, it will explain how the shutdown affects users.

What are the reasons behind the Reddit blackout?

Image illustrating a question mark on a background, representing the inquiry about the reasons behind the Reddit blackout.

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Online forum operator Reddit recently announced it would start charging third-party apps to access their API. The acronym stands for “Application Programming Interface, which allows two different programs to interact.


That API is also essential for Reddit apps like Apollo and Rif. These programs use the API to request Reddit for specific data to meet user requests.

As a result, they improve the platform’s user experience. Despite the ongoing Redditor protest, charging money for API access isn’t new. For example, Twitter announced users must pay a subscription fee for its API.

However, some app developers couldn’t cover the new costs. According to Lifehacker, one of the Apollo developers discovered he must pay $20 million annually once the changes take effect.

“I hope it goes without saying that I don’t have that kind of money or would even know how to charge it to a credit card,” the developer allegedly said. Also, the company announced the changes with only a few months’ notice.


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That leaves developers barely enough time to change their business models. Moreover, the protest occurred a week after the company fired 5% of its workforce.


The protesters said the Reddit blackout will last until June 14, 2023. Afterward, they will continue it in some form if the administrators refuse to rescind the pricing change.

Numerous subreddits with millions of users joined the protest. According to Old Reddit, it includes r/funny with over 40 million users, r/Music, r/Pics, and others with over 30 million users. Unfortunately, the company maintains its decision at the time of writing.

How does the Reddit blackout affect users?

You probably use Apollo or other third-party applications to browse Reddit. The platform has a proprietary mobile app, but many users find it buggy and cumbersome.

If developers leave following the pricing changes, they may discontinue these apps. Nowadays, Reddit is more than a mere online message board because it offers some essential services.

For example, r/Blind uses the API to help visually-impaired mods manage subreddits. It recently joined the protests, meaning it could eventually cease its services.

Some Reddit users may believe the protest does not affect them because they do not use third-party apps. Yet, the Reddit blackout affects everyone on the platform.

Despite the admins remaining adamant, it affects their platform’s user experience. After all, most of the popular subreddits are inaccessible, severely limiting online traffic.

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Eventually, the mods may close their groups if they cannot continue earning from users. The company does not pay them, but they enforce rules and delete spam in their subreddits.

They also remove off-topic posts, remove disruptive users, and moderate sensitive content. Needless to say, they play an important role on the platform.

If they leave, Reddit will become more unreliable, leading many users to quit the platform. As a result, the Reddit blackout may soon spell the end of this online forum.


Reddit moderators suspended their subreddits to protest the company’s plans to charge money for its API. There is no further information at the time of writing.

You may visit this r/explainlikeimfive page to learn more about the Reddit blackout. Also, you can check this Old Reddit page for the growing list of online protestors.

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CEO Steve Huffman shows Reddit’s side of the story on his AMA (Ask Me Anything) page. Check out Inquirer Tech for more digital tips and trends.

Initially published on June 13, 2023. Updated on June 29, 2023
TOPICS: interesting topics, Reddit, Social Media, Trending
TAGS: interesting topics, Reddit, Social Media, Trending

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