Reddit has been the center of tons of controversy over the last week. Developers of third-party apps like Apollo and Reddit is Fun have announced they will be shutting down their apps on June 30 because the online forum will be charging them large fees to access its APIs after that date.
Today, Reddit's CEO Steve Huffman held an AMA on the site to address these issues, but he's standing firm on the price hike for those APIs. The AMA included a long opening statement, where Hoffman stated that these API changes were first revealed back in April. Huffman stated:
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.
Huffman admitted "that the timeline we gave was tight" to those third-party developers but added, "we are happy to engage with folks who want to work with us." In a response to a Reddit user's suggestion that the API change could be delayed by 90 days, Huffman stated:
We’re continuing to work with folks who want to work with us. For what it’s worth, this includes many of the apps that haven’t been taking the spotlight this week.
The developer of the Reddit app Apollo, Christian Selig, claimed earlier this week that Huffman stated falsely that Selig "threatened" Reddit and attempted to blackmail the company. When asked about this accusation by a Reddit user in the AMA Huffman didn't directly talk about that claim, but did state this:
His “joke” is the least of our issues. His behavior and communications with us has been all over the place—saying one thing to us while saying something completely different externally; recording and leaking a private phone call—to the point where I don’t know how we could do business with him.
In a reply to this statement, Apollo maker Selig commented in the AMA, "Please feel free to give examples where I said something differently in public versus what I said to you. I give you full permission."
Huffman also repeated Reddit's recent decision to continue to allow non-commercial Reddit apps made primarily for accessibility to access its APIs for free.
Thousands of popular subreddits are planning to protest the company's API price hikes by going "dark" for at least 48 hours starting on Monday, June 12.