Reddit communities to go dark Monday to protest third-party app changes – NBC New York

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By Dan Sears

Reddit communities went dark Monday in protest of the company’s new pricing policy, which plans to charge hefty fees to third-party apps that rely on the site.

More than 6,600 popular subreddits — message board dedicated to varying topics — were unaccessible Monday, as moderators for those sites made their communities private, CNBC reported.

The San Francisco-based tech company announced it would start charging developers more for access to an application programming interface, or API.

While many users access Reddit through its official app or website, others do so through apps made by third-party software developers that use Reddit’s API. These third-party sites benefit from Reddit in the form of ad revenues on their platforms.

Reddit is essentially asking all users to rely on its official app. However, some Reddit users say its inferior to those from third-parties, calling the Reddit app limited, clunky and not accessible for people who are visually impaired.

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Reddit spokesman Tim Rathschmidt said in a statement last week that the app already offers exemptions to some software developers who make noncommercial apps that address accessibility needs, such as for blind users, NBC News reports.

Rathschmidt also notes the company has for years absorbed costs associated with hosting all the data from third parties.

“We spend multi-millions of dollars on hosting fees and Reddit needs to be fairly paid to continue supporting high-usage third-party apps. Our pricing is based on usage levels that we measure to be comparable to our own costs,” Reddit spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt said in a statement last week. 

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