Reddit’s new API updates announced in April could change the platform forever — but maybe not in a good way. Ever since Apollo for Reddit developer Christian Selig revealed he’d be on the hook for $20 million per year due to the changes, Redditors have been furious over how the updates might affect third-party apps.

Thousands of Reddit’s communities, including some of the biggest, most active ones like r/funny, r/gaming, r/gadgets, and r/todayilearned, have now gone dark as a part of a coordinated protest. As the protest spread to more subreddits on Monday morning, started crashing, with an outage affecting the main homepage.

While Reddit announced it would exempt accessibility-focused apps from the pricing changes, things are looking more grim for other developers. On June 8th, Selig announced he would have to shut down the Apollo app at the end of the month, and soon after, other developers said they’d be shutting down their apps, too.

CEO Steve Huffman hosted an AMA about the changes on Friday, and based on that, it seems like Reddit won’t budge on the changes.

Here’s our coverage of the changes at Reddit.

7972 subreddits — and counting — have gone dark.

I’m signing off for the day, but I wanted to share the latest count of subreddits that are going private to protest Reddit’s API changes. 8,304 subreddits have pledged to do so, according to a live tracker.

The subreddit blackouts are expected to last until June 14th.

Here’s my 53-second summary of what’s going on with Reddit.

And you might not know that AI is at the heart of it.

Reddit tested blocking logins from mobile browsers and forcing you into its app, but that test is over.

Reddit spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt tells The Verge that an experiment preventing users from logging in to Reddit’s mobile website is done. A Reddit admin confirmed the test a month ago after a Redditor said they couldn’t login to the mobile site on iOS.

Reddit seems to be coming back.

Things have switched from “major outage” to “operational” on Reddit’s status dashboard, and a new message indicates things are getting better. “We’re observing improvements across the site and expect issue to recover for most users,” Reddit wrote. “We will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

Here’s our story about the outage.

Reddit crashed because of the growing subreddit blackoutImage by Alex Castro / The Verge

Reddit went through some issues for many on Monday, with the outage happening the same day as thousands of subreddits going dark to protest the site’s new API pricing terms.

According to Reddit, the blackout was responsible for the problems. “A significant number of subreddits shifting to private caused some expected stability issues, and we’ve been working on resolving the anticipated issue,” spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt tells The Verge. The company said the outage was fully resolved at 1:28PM ET.

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More than 7,000 subreddits have gone dark to protest Reddit’s API changesIllustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Over 7,000 subreddits, including many of the most-subscribed communities on Reddit like r/funny, r/aww, r/gaming, r/music, and r/science, have set themselves private to protest Reddit’s upcoming API pricing changes. It means these communities are no longer publicly accessible, even to Reddit users previously subscribed to them. Here’s a Twitch stream which is tracking the exact number of subreddits that have gone dark.

Moderators began planning the actions last week after the developers of some of Reddit’s most-beloved third-party apps said they wouldn’t be able to afford the platform’s updated API pricing. On Thursday, the developers for Apollo for Reddit and others announced they would be shutting down their apps on June 30th due to the API changes.

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Want to follow the subreddit shutdowns in real time?

The Reddark tracker that Wes posted about yesterday got too much traffic, so now you can watch the count go up in real time on Twitch. If you have the stream open, it plays a sound every time a subreddit goes dark — and over the past 15 minutes or so I’ve had the tab open, I’ve heard that sound a lot.

Thousands of subreddits pledge to go dark after the Reddit CEO’s recent remarksReddits user and moderator community are very peeved at its CEO right now. Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The version of Reddit we’ll see over the next few days may be a shell of itself. More than 100 subreddits have already gone dark, and thousands more plan to follow in protest of Reddit’s coming API changes, according to the website Reddark, which is tracking the protests.

The protests are happening over API changes that will force many third-party apps, like Apollo and rif is fun for Reddit, to shut down. Frustration was already brewing in the community as developers began reacting to the changes this week, but Reddit CEO Steve Huffman’s responses in recent days have only escalated the community’s pushback.

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Alexis Ohanian: “Online community-building is more like IRL community-building than people realize. Thing is — most people don’t wanna do the work.”

The Reddit co-founder posted what sure reads like a subtweet just a few hours after fellow co-founder and current Reddit CEO Steve Huffman wrapped up his poorly-received AMA. Harsh.

Some subreddits are already going dark.

A few subreddits, like r/TIHI and r/polls, went private on Friday ahead of the mass platform protest that’s set to start on Monday. A mod for r/polls cited CEO Steve Huffman’s AMA as the reason for going dark early.

Thousands of subreddits are expected to participate in the protest — the latest count I’ve seen is 3,589.

The AMA’s done.

I can’t see anything in Reddit’s AMA with CEO Steve Huffman about the API changes to indicate that it’s over, but Reddit spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt tells me that it’s done. Based on Reddit’s stickied comment, Huffman answered 14 questions, while a few other admins jumped in with seven replies. As of this writing, the AMA had more than 16,000 comments.

Reddit won’t budge on the API changes that are shutting down apps like ApolloIllustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman hosted a promised AMA on Friday over the platform’s controversial API changes, but based on the tone of his initial message and some replies, it doesn’t seem like Reddit will be budging on potentially expensive API updates that have caused multiple developers to announce they will be shutting down their apps.

“On 4/18, we shared that we would update access to the API, including premium access for third parties who require additional capabilities and higher usage limits,” Huffman, who goes by u/spez on Reddit, wrote in the initial post for his AMA. “Reddit needs to be a self-sustaining business, and to do that, we can no longer subsidize commercial entities that require large-scale data use.”

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Reddit’s AMA with its CEO is still planned for about 1:30PM ET / 10:30AM PT.

Reddit just confirmed it to me. It’s set to be posted on r/reddit.

It’s not just Apollo: other Reddit apps are shutting down, tooIllustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Apollo for Reddit isn’t the only Reddit app that’s shutting down due to the company’s new API pricing: on Thursday, rif is fun for Reddit (previously Reddit is Fun), ReddPlanet, and Sync also announced that they would be shutting down on June 30th, the same day Apollo will be.

rif is fun for Reddit is shutting down “in response to Reddit Inc’s API changes and their hostile treatment of developers building on their platform,” its developer wrote in a message on r/redditisfun. The developer said Reddit has “unfortunately shown a consistent unwillingness to compromise on all points” mentioned in a previous post, including expected costs “in the ballpark” of Apollo’s expected $20 million per year, Reddit’s decision to block ads in third-party apps, and the removal of sexually explicit content in third-party apps even though that content will still be available in Reddit’s official apps.

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Apollo for Reddit is shutting downIllustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

Apollo, one of the most beloved iOS apps used to browse Reddit, will be shutting down due to the company’s new API pricing that will make the app much more expensive to operate.

The app will shut down on June 30th, according to developer Christian Selig. “Reddit’s recent decisions and actions have unfortunately made it impossible for Apollo to continue,” Selig wrote on Twitter.

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Reddit will exempt accessibility-focused apps from its unpopular API pricing changesIllustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Reddit is creating an exemption to its unpopular new API pricing terms for makers of accessibility apps, which could come as a big relief for some developers worried about how to afford the potentially expensive fees and the users that rely on the apps to browse Reddit. As long as those apps are noncommercial and “address accessibility needs,” they won’t have to pay to access Reddit’s data.

“We’ve connected with select developers of non-commercial apps that address accessibility needs and offered them exemptions from our large-scale pricing terms,” Reddit spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt says in a statement to The Verge.

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Reddit’s upcoming API changes will make AI companies pony upIllustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

Reddit announced new API changes today that will eventually pinch its content pipeline from being used to train artificial intelligence tools, including the models that power OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Microsoft’s Bing AI. AI chatbots’ abilities to provide powerful answers have data resources like Reddit to thank — and now Reddit is planning to put that robot food behind a paywall.

Social media resources, including Reddit, are some of the sources used to train large language models (LLM) that can provide cogent responses to human prompts. Some of this data can be scraped in an unstructured manner, but Reddit’s API has helped companies make it easy to directly find and package useful data.

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