A number of Reddit forums plan to go dark for two days later this month to protest the company’s decision to increase prices for third-party app developers.
One developer, who makes a Reddit Inc. app called Apollo, said that under the new pricing policy he would have to pay Reddit US$20 million a year to continue running the app as-is.
Reddit’s move comes after Twitter Inc. announced in February that the company would no longer support free access to its application programming interface, or API. Twitter instead now offers pricing tiers based on usage.
Reddit spokesman Tim Rathschmidt said the company is trying to clear up confusion about the change on the platform, and stressed that Reddit spends millions on hosting. “Reddit needs to be fairly paid to continue supporting high-usage third-party apps,” Rathschmidt said. “Our pricing is based on usage levels that we measure to be comparable to our own costs.”
The company said it is committed to supporting a developer ecosystem. In a post on its platform, Reddit laid out some of its pricing plans for businesses and said the changes would begin July 1.
Twitter’s enterprise plan starts at $42,000 per month for access to less than 1% of tweets. Twitter’s old plan allowed developers to access up to 2 million tweets per month for free. Twitter’s API was used by popular third-party apps like the now-defunct Tweetbot and Twitterific, in addition to researchers. In the wake of Twitter’s API changes, many third-party apps shut down.
Reddit filed for an initial public offering in late 2021, but the deal hasn’t yet gone forward amid larger turmoil in the tech markets. Earlier this year, the company created the role of chief revenue officer, promoting an executive to the position.
--With assistance from Aisha Counts.