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Canuckabroad

157 posts

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#305915 13-Jun-2023 13:43
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As has been covered in the media recently, Reddit announced they were going to start charging (exorbitantly) for API calls that are necessary for 3rd party (mobile) applications to be able to access the platform, in an attempt to force users to use the site's native app.  The developers of the major 3rd party applications have announced they will be shutting down their applications at the end of June.  This impacts users who access and participate in Reddit, on moderators who volunteer their time to keep the individual sub rooms operating (as the 3rd party tools are much better), and on developers who make applications to enable access for the visually-impaired.

 

To protest these changes, the moderators of a significant number of those forums (subreddits) have decided to mark themselves private - not allowing anyone to see or participate.  Over 7000 individual forums have now functionally taken themselves offline in protest.  The majority are planning 2 days offline hoping this pressures Reddit to reconsider its approach.  So far Reddit has announced they will consider making exemptions specifically for accessibility-related 3rd party apps for the visually-impaired.  The blackouts are occurring in local timezones so a number of NZ subreddits were among the first to go dark at midnight on Sunday night.  Media announced that Reddit experienced an outage ~10 hours ago when the back-end tried to respond and synchronise all the changes as those in North America applied their changes to go offline.

 

Do you have any thoughts on the situation?  Does a 2 day protest have enough weight to influence the company to change, or will it only work if the blackout continues until there is change?  We periodically see people propose 1 day protests against supermarkets or petrol stations when prices are seen as too high - but does it have much impact when the company knows you'll be back after it ends?


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richms
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  #3089469 13-Jun-2023 14:21
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IMO it's a whole lot of entitled people wanting to keep accessing someone else's platform for free having a bit of a fit.





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irpegg
134 posts

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  #3089471 13-Jun-2023 14:34
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richms:

 

IMO it's a whole lot of entitled people wanting to keep accessing someone else's platform for free having a bit of a fit.

 



I'd say its more the mods pushing this because modding with the official tools is awful and they actually needed to use third party programs to do their unpaid job.  So might turn a bit shit if the mods can't keep up with all the bots on that site, who knows


boosacnoodle
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  #3089472 13-Jun-2023 14:42
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Reddit's API costs ($12,000~) contrasted with Imgur's ($150~) for the same volume of calls suggests that they are taking the mickey.




Canuckabroad

157 posts

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  #3089473 13-Jun-2023 14:47
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irpegg:

 


I'd say its more the mods pushing this because modding with the official tools is awful and they actually needed to use third party programs to do their unpaid job.  So might turn a bit shit if the mods can't keep up with all the bots on that site, who knows

 

 

 

 

The mods are certainly pushing it, but I think a great number of the users also support it.  While I primarily use desktop, a significant majority use mobile apps - and the Reddit app is generally disliked on both Android and IOS.  Users are hoping they can continue using their preferred app to access and participate in the site, rather than being forced to choose between the company app or leaving.


toejam316
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  #3089547 13-Jun-2023 15:44
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It's pretty obvious that the API changes and pricing is all for one purpose - to consolidate the userbase into the official app, kill third party apps and add another marketable point to prep the company for an IPO.

 

x million users (via API) isn't monetizable. x million users via our mobile app is. It's also a step towards taking more control over the NSFW community on their platform, so they can tidy it up and pop it in a nice little box, or get rid of it depending on what they're marketed as.





Anything I say is the ramblings of an ill informed, opinionated so-and-so, and not representative of any of my past, present or future employers, and is also probably best disregarded.


michaelmurfy
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  #3089555 13-Jun-2023 15:59
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richms: IMO it's a whole lot of entitled people wanting to keep accessing someone else's platform for free having a bit of a fit.

 

I'm not entitled at all but to me the Apollo app on my iPhone was Reddit. That is what it is like to many people. This has been one of the many things that has angered people: https://www.reddit.com/r/apolloapp/comments/144f6xm/apollo_will_close_down_on_june_30th_reddits/

 

The blind community, mods, any third party app developers are all affected also. Reddit is basically a forum where users build up their own communities while Reddit provides the platform and tools for them to do so.

 

I fully support the blackout and the backlash here. What the CEO (Steve Huffman) did here with giving anyone that uses the API a mere month is inexcusable. If you've tried the official Reddit app it is horrible compared to many of the third party apps.

 

Also, the official Reddit app actually started off as a third party app that Reddit bought (Alien Blue).

 

Reddits promises have never been kept. They promised mod tools but this never happened so people built their own to support their own communities. Imagine suddenly having the ability to use those tools pulled from you and being told you had to pay for a tool to support a free community you don't make money from - you'd be pissed too.

 

Live tracker: https://reddark.untone.uk 





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Inphinity
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  #3089556 13-Jun-2023 16:04
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richms:

 

IMO it's a whole lot of entitled people wanting to keep accessing someone else's platform for free having a bit of a fit.

 

 

 

 

I don't think anyone's complaining that it's not free, just that the fees are becoming exorbitant, and are many multiples times the cost of similar API access to other platforms, and the notice period for the change has been very short given the impact. 

 

US$0.24 per 1,000 API calls is a lot, in many peoples view.

 

Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, LinkedIn etc all offer free API capabilities, as Reddit has until now.




Qazzy03
309 posts

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  #3089565 13-Jun-2023 16:34
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richms:

 

IMO it's a whole lot of entitled people wanting to keep accessing someone else's platform for free having a bit of a fit.

 

 

 

 

I used the offical Reddit app on android for years, i didn't get into RIF or any 3rd party app. 

 

However after reading U/Spez AMA and just how they treated the converstation I have uninstalled the offical Reddit app and I will be continue using old.Reddit via firefox.

 

Yes Reddit owns and control it's own platform but it is the users, mods and communities that create all the content on Reddit for free..... so yeah all those entitled people aye? 


tehgerbil
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  #3089728 13-Jun-2023 20:30
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The CEO has displayed a breath taking amount of arrogance by publicly ridiculing Apollo dev as an example of an inefficient and poorly made app. When the dev asked Reddit devs for help he was told to 'figure it out yourself'.

 

The whole situation is the epitome of corporate greed. It's just so gross. 

 

The whole ordeal was not done with any form of moral compass, in good faith or really than to provide Devs with any options but to fold or pay hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars with only 30 days notice. 


Handle9
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  #3089730 13-Jun-2023 20:42
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michaelmurfy:

 

I fully support the blackout and the backlash here. What the CEO (Steve Huffman) did here with giving anyone that uses the API a mere month is inexcusable. If you've tried the official Reddit app it is horrible compared to many of the third party apps.

 

 

The CEOs "AMA" was a farce. Of course none of the actual questions got answered and shill account questions did. 

 

If he had the integrity to say "we are going to IPO and want to kill third party apps to maximise our valuation" at least he would have been telling the truth.


Canuckabroad

157 posts

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  #3089737 13-Jun-2023 21:29
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I'm curious if the CEO had an idea that Reddit moderators would respond they way they did.  There's been a moderate amount of press about this (overseas) and it won't be a surprise to anyone considering the IPO that they have a passionate membership - but also that it was well understood what was happening and why.  Are they going to try spin this as a positive saying look how passionate our users are?


loceff13
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  #3089806 14-Jun-2023 00:06
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boosacnoodle:

 

Reddit's API costs ($12,000~) contrasted with Imgur's ($150~) for the same volume of calls suggests that they are taking the mickey.

 

 

 

 

The person who quoted that price(the apollo app dev) said in the past they were grandfathered into older pricing for Imgur.

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/apolloapp/comments/7rkcth/comment/dsxqd9r/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

 

Just what new deal they got in the end who knows, it's clearly a sweetheart deal.

 

 

 

 

 

Imgur today charges 10k USD for 150m requests(~$3.3k for 50m), Reddit is proposing 12k for 50m


tehgerbil
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  #3089857 14-Jun-2023 08:45
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Canuckabroad:

 

I'm curious if the CEO had an idea that Reddit moderators would respond they way they did.  There's been a moderate amount of press about this (overseas) and it won't be a surprise to anyone considering the IPO that they have a passionate membership - but also that it was well understood what was happening and why.  Are they going to try spin this as a positive saying look how passionate our users are?

 

 

I think you're giving them too much credit.

 

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. You needn't look any further than 2015 when Ellen Pao was forced to resign over the community backlash after the treatment of a very popular AMA mod.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Canuckabroad

157 posts

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  #3089876 14-Jun-2023 09:20
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Good point.  Spez has been around since the beginning so has seen these things before, but that doesn't mean he's learned from it.

 

The NZ portion of the blackout will continue for business hours today in NZ at a minimum.  We'll see what happens from there.


michaelmurfy
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  #3089937 14-Jun-2023 10:16
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Canuckabroad: The NZ portion of the blackout will continue for business hours today in NZ at a minimum.  We'll see what happens from there.

 

Some subreddits are planning to keep it going based on the fact somebody at Reddit quoted "this has not affected revenue": https://www.reddit.com/r/ModCoord/comments/148ks6u/indefinite_blackout_next_steps_polling_your/ 

 

And yes, I fully support this.





Michael Murphy | https://murfy.nz
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