Reddit, ongoing protest against too high fees for third-party apps

A user protest is underway on Reddit, an online discussion platform for sharing news and updates of all kinds. Thousands of subreddits, the forums in which the social network is organized, have been placed by their administrators in private mode, and therefore cannot be consulted. The protest started today, June 12: at the moment over 7,000 subforums are in “dark” mode.

The protest

On May 31, according to the Twitch channel created to monitor the protest, Reddit announced that “the cost of making calls to their APIs would be increased”, i.e. what allows other applications to have access to Reddit data. A cost that has gone from being zero “to such a level as to kill every third-party app on Reddit, from Apollo to Reddit is Fun, to Narwhal to BaconReader”, i.e. unofficial applications much loved by users. Founded in 2005, Reddit only launched its own application in 2016 – until then, third-party apps were used. “This” – continues the protest channel – “is not only a problem at the user level: many subreddit moderators depend on tools available only outside the official app to keep their communities on-topic and spam- free”.

Wave of layoffs

Furthermore, in recent days, reports the Wall Street Journal, Reddit has decided to cut 5% of resources, equal to 90 employees, and also to reduce hiring, which from the expected 300 will drop to 100. The Journal would have had access to an email addressed to collaborators in which the managing director, Steve Huffmann, underlines that reducing costs is essential to achieve what the market defines as a “break even” point, i.e. cost coverage, to give new impetus to operations as early as next year .

Founded in 2005, Reddit became an independent subsidiary of Advance Publications, parent company of Condé Nast, in 2011. In December 2021, the company had confidentially filed a public IPO with the U.S. regulator at a purported valuation of $15 billion. The launch was then suspended.