The Apple-related subreddit /r/apple has gone dark in protest of Reddit’s upcoming API pricing changes affecting third-party Reddit apps. The subreddit is now private, meaning users can no longer view or submit posts, and the moderators behind the community said it would stay that way for the next 48 hours, or possibly longer if necessary.
/r/apple is one of many subreddits going dark over the next few days, along with /r/videos, /r/gaming, /r/sports, /r/aww, and others. The orderly blackout comes after Reddit announced steep API pricing changes that threaten to put some third-party Reddit apps out of business. Christian Selig, developer of popular Reddit app Apollo, said he owes Reddit about $20 million a year under the new policy. As a result, Selig announced that Apollo would be shutting down at the end of the month.
The Reddit API provides apps like Apollo with Reddit data like posts and comments, and has been free to use until now. It’s understandable that Reddit will start charging for API access, Selig said, but the prices are exorbitantly steep. Selig also said Reddit gave him minimal time to prepare for the changes.
Reddit CEO Steve Hoffman spoke about the topic in a Reddit post last week, but his comments were heavily criticized and received thousands of negative votes from Reddit users. Despite the backlash from the community, Reddit has yet to reverse its plans, and the API changes are set to go into effect on July 1 if supported.