Reddit has encountered a tumultuous day. Numerous communities have temporarily suspended their activities to express their dissatisfaction with the changes Reddit is implementing to its API, which are adversely affecting various third-party applications. Adding to the chaos, the platform experienced a significant outage, affecting its desktop and mobile websites, as well as its mobile apps.
At 10:58 AM ET, a message on the Reddit status page acknowledged the content loading issues and assured users that efforts were underway to resolve them promptly. By 11:30 AM, the site was operational again, with an update at 11:47 AM stating that improvements were being observed across the platform, and most users could expect the issues to be resolved. Reddit informed BuyTechBlog that the stability issues were expected due to a considerable number of subreddits transitioning to private and that they were actively working to address them.
During the outage, a bot responsible for tracking private subreddits as part of the protests was temporarily inactive but has since resumed functioning.
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In April, Reddit announced its plan to charge for access to its API, affecting thousands of third-party developers whose apps rely on the platform, particularly for moderation tools. Although the primary intention behind the API changes may have been to target companies that scrape Reddit for content to train language learning models for generative AI systems, the move has dealt a significant blow to third-party clients preferred by many Redditors over the official Reddit website or apps.
Apollo, one of the prominent third-party clients, will permanently shut down at the end of this month due to the API changes. Christian Selig, the app’s creator, cited the exorbitant cost of $20 million per year to sustain Apollo in its current form. Another widely used third-party Reddit app, RIF, will also cease operations on June 30th.
During an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session prior to the subreddit protests, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman defended the API changes. He stated that the new policy aimed to make Reddit financially viable and no longer subsidize commercial entities reliant on extensive data usage. Huffman mentioned that apps such as Apollo, Reddit is Fun, and Sync had decided that the revised pricing model was not feasible for their businesses and would close before it went into effect.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Reddit outage
What caused the major outage on Reddit?
The major outage on Reddit was caused by technical issues affecting the platform’s desktop and mobile websites, as well as its mobile apps. These issues resulted in problems loading content and disrupted the site’s functionality temporarily.
Why did thousands of subreddits temporarily shut down?
Thousands of subreddits temporarily shut down as a form of protest against the changes Reddit was making to its API. The API changes had a significant impact on third-party apps that rely on it, and many communities decided to close their doors to express their discontent.
What were the API changes that caused the protests?
Reddit announced that it would start charging for access to its API. These changes affected third-party developers and apps that utilized the API, including moderation tools. The pricing structure and implications of the API changes were a cause for concern and led to widespread protests within the Reddit community.
Which third-party apps were affected by the API changes?
Several third-party apps, including Apollo and RIF (Reddit is Fun), were significantly impacted by the API changes. Apollo, a popular third-party client, announced that it would shut down at the end of the month due to the financial implications of the new API pricing. RIF also announced its closure on June 30th.
What was the response of Reddit’s CEO to the protests?
Reddit’s CEO, Steve Huffman, defended the API changes during an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session. He stated that the changes were necessary to make Reddit a financially sustainable business. Huffman mentioned that some apps, including Apollo, Reddit is Fun, and Sync, had decided to close due to the revised pricing model not being viable for their businesses.