The 48-hour Reddit “Blackout” might be coming to an end today. However, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman has managed to anger many Redditors this week as moderators closed thousands of subreddits to protest API price changes for third-party apps.
On Monday, more than 8,000 Reddit communities went dark. Moderators of these forums say the move is to protest the company’s price increases for third-party developers to access its API. Developers such as Apollo, a popular third-party app, warned it would incur a $20 million charge under the new pricing and would shutter operations later this month.
“We have not seen any significant revenue impact so far and we will continue to monitor,” CEO Huffman wrote in an internal memo to staff on Monday, obtained by The Verge.
“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 CEO said. He anticipates that many of the subreddits will come back online Wednesday.
Huffman concluded the letter by saying, “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.”
We suspect the API changes that go into effect on July 1 are a move by the company to increase a more diversified source of revenue ahead of a future IPO. It appears there’s no reversing course by Huffman.
Here’s Reddit’s Huffman full letter to employees:
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.
Wed, 06/14/2023 – 22:00