The Reddit community is in an uproar over the recent policy change that threatens to eliminate a vast array of third-party mobile apps, effectively stripping users of the quality-of-life features that have become synonymous with the platform. The announcement, made on May 31st, 2023, revealed that Reddit would be implementing a fee for calls to their API, rendering every third-party app from Apollo to Narwhal to BaconReader obsolete.
Reddit has been exploring the possibility of going public via an IPO. As a result, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they are looking for ways to boost their metrics ahead of the big day. This strategy presents a great growth story to investors which could lead to a higher demand for their stock. However, this short-term approach may not be beneficial for the long-term health of the company.
It is important to note that employees may also be impacted by this strategy. Typically, after an IPO, employees are subject to a lock-up period where they cannot sell their shares.
The policy change has far-reaching consequences beyond the mobile app realm. Even non-mobile users who rely on tools such as Reddit Enhancement Suite or the old.reddit.com desktop interface will be affected. Subreddit moderators, in particular, are sounding the alarm, as they depend on third-party apps to keep their communities spam-free and on-topic.
To protest this policy, many subreddits such as r/LifeProTips will be going dark on June 12th. While some will return after 48 hours, others will be gone forever unless Reddit addresses the issue. Moderators are unable to perform their duties with the limited tools available through the official app, and this change threatens to undermine the very fabric of the Reddit community.
The two-day blackout is only the beginning. If Reddit does not take action by June 14th, the community will utilize the momentum generated by the blackout to enact further measures.
What can you do? Join the protest by voicing your concerns to r/reddit.com moderators and submitting support requests. Spread the word by raising awareness on related subreddits and non-Reddit platforms. However, please refrain from making threats or engaging in vandalism, as such actions will only serve to undermine our cause.