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Protests over API pricing caused Reddit to crash for 3 hours

It took less than 11 hours for Reddit to feel the impact of the widespread protests of its API fees. More than 7,000 private subsites have been dedicated to “obfuscating” and resisting Reddit’s controversial API price hike, which has caused some instability for the site, down from about 10:25 a.m. ET to 1:26 p.m today.

Amid the outage, Reddit spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt told The Verge:

A large number of subreddits going private caused some expected stability issues, and we are working on the expected issue.

As of this writing, 7,856 subreddits have joined the protest, according to a counter on Twitch, and 8,191 have said they will. Some subreddits go dark and have tens of millions of subscribers. But with the power outage, the protests have already affected users no Use the subreddit to protest.

During the outage, I was unable to use the Reddit site, which displays a main feed with the note, “Something went wrong. Just don’t panic” and a popup saying, “Sorry, we were unable to load posts for this page.” TechCrunch reported that users They couldn’t view threads on the Reddit app either. According to The Verge, “some” subreddits were uploaded during this time. There were 45,887 outages reported at the height of the problem, according to Downdetector.

Thousands of subreddits have united in going private or read-only starting June 12 (some started their protests earlier, though, and some say they will protest indefinitely) until June 14 to revolt against the cost of Reddit’s access to the forefront. Own application programming, which was previously free. Some believe the changes announced in April are an intentional death knell for Reddit’s third-party apps, similar to how Twitter effectively removed third-party apps as API prices spiked in February.

The iOS Apollo app, which added to the controversy when it said the new pricing scheme would require paying $20 million annually to continue operating, said it would shut down on June 30. Apollo is the most popular third party app on Reddit and it’s not the only one preparing for the end.

And while the three-hour outage may seem like a win for the little guy, Reddit has yet to show any signs of abating.

In an uncomfortable Q&A on the matter Friday before the protests, Reddit CEO Steve Hoffman was steadfast on pricing, saying in his initial message “Reddit must be a self-sustaining business, and to do that we can no longer subsidize.” Data-intensive business entities.

When asked about concerns “that Reddit is becoming increasingly profit-driven and less focused on community engagement,” Hoffman replied when asked about concerns “that we’ll keep being profitable until the profits come in. Unlike some 3P apps, we’re not profitable.”

Reddit gives a free pass to apps that “meet accessibility needs,” Rathschmidt told The Verge last week, and some, like RedReader and Dystopia, have confirmed receiving waivers.

But then Reddit insisted that it should “pay fairly” to support third-party apps. The company appears to be seeking cash, which included layoffs and a hiring freeze last week. Reddit filed for an IPO in late 2021, and The Information reported in February that it wanted to go public this year.

Reddit has denied trying to kill third-party apps, but suspicions remain, especially given the pricing scheme. It will cost Reddit $0.24 for 1,000 requests, or $12,000 for 50 million. For comparison, Imgur charges $500 per month for 7.5 million requests per month or $10,000 per month for 150 million requests per month, and Twitter charges $42,000 for 50 million tweets.

Advance Publications, which owns Ars Technica’s parent company Cond√© Nast, is Reddit’s largest shareholder.

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