Recently, over 8,000 subreddits decided to go dark for 48 hours as a means of protesting the upcoming API changes on Reddit. This action had an immediate impact on the platform, as Reddit experienced a significant outage affecting its desktop and mobile websites, as well as its mobile apps. In response, CEO Steve Huffman embarked on a media campaign, attempting to portray disgruntled users and moderators, who contribute countless hours of their free time to Reddit, as unreasonable. In an interview with The Verge, he claimed that these individuals were simply upset because they were accustomed to receiving services for free, which would no longer be the case.
Despite these visible signs, it was challenging to gauge the practical effect of the protest on Reddit’s overall traffic. Fortunately, new data obtained by BuyTechBlog from internet analytics firm Similarweb provides some insights. The impact, while modest, was noticeable. On June 12th, the day before the blackout commenced, Similarweb recorded over 57 million daily visits to Reddit via desktop and mobile web clients. However, by the end of the first day of the protest, daily visits had dropped below 55 million. On June 13th, Similarweb observed fewer than 52 million daily visits. Comparing these figures to Reddit’s average daily traffic over the past month, the 52,121,649 visits on June 13th represented a decline of 6.6%.
During the same timeframe, Similarweb also noted a more substantial decrease in the amount of time users spent on Reddit. Prior to the protest, the average session duration was approximately eight minutes and 31 seconds. However, a day later, that metric fell to seven minutes and 17 seconds, the lowest recorded in the past three years. Despite these findings, Reddit has not yet responded to BuyTechBlog’s request for comment.
While a temporary drop in daily traffic is unlikely to significantly impact Reddit’s immediate prospects, ongoing subreddit protests against the company’s plans and potential policy changes affecting its relationship with moderators could lead to a gradual decline in daily active users. Such a trend would not bode well for Reddit, particularly as it approaches its planned IPO and navigates the future.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Reddit blackout
What was the purpose of the blackout on Reddit?
The blackout on Reddit was initiated by over 8,000 subreddits as a protest against the forthcoming API changes on the platform.
How did the blackout affect Reddit’s daily traffic?
According to third-party data from Similarweb, Reddit experienced a decline in daily visits during the blackout. The number of daily visits dropped below 55 million on the first day of the protest and further decreased to fewer than 52 million by the end of the second day.
Was there a noticeable impact on user engagement during the blackout?
Yes, Similarweb’s data revealed a significant decrease in the average session duration on Reddit. Users spent seven minutes and 17 seconds on the platform, which marked the lowest recorded metric in the past three years.
How did Reddit’s CEO respond to the protest?
CEO Steve Huffman launched a media campaign where he portrayed the aggrieved users and moderators as unreasonable. He stated that their dissatisfaction stemmed from the transition from free to non-free services.
Could this blackout have long-term implications for Reddit?
While a temporary drop in daily traffic may not significantly impact Reddit’s near-term prospects, the continued protests and potential policy changes affecting moderators could lead to a gradual decline in daily active users. This decline could have negative implications for Reddit’s future, including its planned IPO.