- Android subreddits protest Reddit’s API changes, causing temporary shutdowns.
- Third-party Reddit clients face high fees and limited time to adapt, leading to their demise.
- Valuable Android communities offline, urging Reddit to reconsider API changes.
Reddit is highly regarded as one of the most invaluable platforms for accessing information directly from individuals, given its extensive array of specialized communities called subreddits. However, a wave of protests has emerged in response to Reddit’s forthcoming modifications to its application programming interface (API), resulting in the temporary suspension of several significant subreddits related to Android.
Starting from July 1, Reddit plans to introduce substantial fees for developers using its API. This move has had severe consequences for third-party Reddit clients, as they now face not only the cost but also an incredibly short time frame to adapt to these changes. In comparison to other platforms, the fees imposed by Reddit are exorbitant, making it financially unviable for developers to sustain their free user base. Even existing paid users are becoming a financial burden due to the increased costs. For instance, the creator of Apollo, the most popular third-party Reddit client on iOS, estimates that the new API fees would amount to a staggering $20 million annually. Consequently, these added expenses have forced the demise of prominent Android Reddit clients such as Reddit is Fun (RIF) and Sync.
Many Reddit communities are unavailable for a 48-hour periodhttps://t.co/xXwfkIp6MB— Android Central (@androidcentral) June 12, 2023
The loss of these third-party clients is not solely a matter of personal preference. In many cases, these clients offer more advanced features compared to Reddit’s official offerings, particularly when it comes to community moderation. Despite relying heavily on unpaid volunteers, community moderation plays a vital role in the functioning of the website.
In response to these API changes and their impact on moderation, numerous Reddit communities, including some of the largest subreddits, have temporarily gone offline. More than 6,000 communities are affected, with a 48-hour shutdown (and potentially longer for some) intended to urge Reddit to reconsider its API changes. By taking down these subreddits, the goal is to highlight the negative consequences of these changes, not only reducing Reddit’s user base but also restricting access to valuable information on the web, albeit only temporarily.
Among the affected major subreddits in the Android realm are r/Android, r/AndroidAuto, r/Samsung, and r/GooglePixel. While these communities are scheduled to return after 48 hours, the impact of their absence will certainly be felt. For over two million members, r/Android serves as a central hub for news, while r/AndroidAuto and r/GooglePixel are invaluable resources for troubleshooting and engaging with a community.
Despite the outcry from users, Reddit has thus far shown no inclination to reverse its decision regarding the API. Even an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session with Reddit’s CEO provided no indication of a change in course, further underscoring the company’s steadfastness in implementing these changes without remorse for the diminishing third-party clients.