Bitcoin, Cardano, and CryptoCurrency, three of the largest crypto-centric subreddits, are joining other popular forums on Reddit to protest against planned API and tools policy changes that will prevent users from freely using the interface from July 1.
Reddit API changes
As of June 12, users wishing to browse the three popular subreddits must request the moderator for access as the protesting subreddits are in “private” mode.
More than 3,500 subreddits reportedly have limited access, rejecting Reddit’s new policy decision.
Cardano, Bitcoin, CryptoCurrency, and other subreddits participating in the protest will limit access as part of the Reddit blackout until June 14. The response follows the decision by the social media company to change its Reddit Data application programming interface (API).
These APIs are needed by developers and moderators whenever they want to create tools and other utilities. Reddit’s move will impact how developers freely access third-party tools necessary for seamless moderation and community interaction.
While some subreddits participated in the blackout, Reddit claimed that their goal is to build continuously and that the changes in their APIs will make their ecosystem more sustainable and healthy.
As part of this process, Reddit has updated terms for developer tools and services. At the same time, Reddit plans to build new moderator tools while maintaining the existing ones for the convenience of moderators.
These tools will be available in Reddit’s Android and iOS mobile apps. With tooling improvement, Reddit said there would be notable improvements in tools moderators use, including rule management, moderator log, and additional moderator queues.
Specifically, Reddit is now changing how developers will access the social media platform’s API. Part of these changes will involve the rollout of premium access for “third parties who require additional capabilities, higher usage limits, and broader usage rights.”
However, the Reddit Data API will “still be open for reasonable and appropriate use cases and accessible via our Developer Platform, designed to help developers improve the core Reddit experience.”
Impact could be consequential
Subreddits participating in the 48 hours blackout reject Reddit’s plans to roll out moderator tools. They argue that this will directly impact their ability to use and interact with third-party tools, mainly those in moderation and engagement.
Reddit CEO, Steve Huffman, backs the decision by the social media giant, arguing that the platform needs to be self-sustainable and reduce the reliance on third-party tools, especially those used in moderation.
In response, popular third-party tools like Apollo, Reddit is Fun, and Sync is reportedly planning to shut down ahead of the changes in pricing starting from July 1. Apollo developers said if they proceed, they will have to pay over $20 million in fees to Reddit annually.
Reddit is following in the steps of Twitter, which previously announced that it would end free API access in an attempt to monetize.