Reddit experienced a major outage

Reddit down

Reddit has experienced a tumultuous day as thousands of communities temporarily closed down to protest against changes made by the company to its API. These alterations have impacted various third-party apps that rely on the API. Adding to the challenges, the platform encountered a “major outage” affecting its desktop and mobile websites, as well as mobile apps.

A message on the Reddit status page at 10:58 AM ET acknowledged the content loading issues and assured users that efforts were underway to resolve them promptly. By 11:30 AM, the site began loading again, and an update posted at 11:47 AM indicated improvements across the site, with expectations of issue recovery for most users. Reddit stated to Engadget that the substantial number of subreddits shifting to private had caused expected stability problems, which were being addressed. The outage was declared resolved by the company at 1:26 PM, and operations returned to normal, excluding the ongoing protest.

During the outage, a bot that was tracking the subreddits participating in the protests was inactive. However, it has since been restored and is functioning again.

In April, Reddit announced plans to charge for API access, affecting numerous third-party developers who utilize the platform’s API in their apps, including moderation tools. While the primary focus of the API changes may have been on entities scraping Reddit for content to train language learning models for generative AI systems, the impact has been significant for developers creating third-party clients preferred by many Reddit users over the company’s official website or apps.

Apollo, one of the prominent third-party clients, is set to shut down at the end of the month due to the API changes. Christian Selig, the app’s creator, explained that he would need to pay $20 million annually to continue operating Apollo as it currently functions. Another widely used third-party Reddit app, RIF, will also close on June 30th.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman defended the API changes in an AMA conducted prior to the subreddits going private in protest. He emphasized that the new policy aimed to ensure Reddit’s financial sustainability. 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.” He acknowledged that some apps, such as Apollo, Reddit is Fun, and Sync, had chosen to close due to the pricing structure not aligning with their business models.