Reddit and end of Open API’s — Thoughts on Tech & Things

This sucks. Apollo has been my go-to Reddit reader, and I don’t want that to change, but come the end of the month, it’s happening if I like it or not.

If you’re not in the loop on Reddit’s API drama, the TL;DR is Reddit moved from open and free APIs to a fee-based system that charges based on the number of API calls you make. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Twitter went down a similar path, and many other open platforms have decided to shut the doors to open API access. The argument for why? OpenAI and AI models are being trained on hordes of open Internet data and, of course, the possibility to eek some revenue out of all the folks hooked on Reddit’s content.

As you might imagine, that approach makes the cost to run something like Apollo unsustainable.

Is Reddit wrong? Apps built for platforms like Twitter and Reddit are like symbiotic bacteria, but one organism is much more dependent on the other. As a platform, Reddit is about user-generated content, and as with Twitter or LinkedIn, it makes us feel like investors or partners in this whole social sharing experiment. But let’s be honest. Revenue and control of the platform you own is what this is really about. If you’re not in control of the last mile, you can’t control how your consumers interact with you or it. You’re constantly limited in how you can advertise, how you personalize, and the ways you can use them to generate revenue.

Hey Reddit, when you fix the mobile and iPad apps, call Mindgrub. We make great mobile apps.

Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs) Reddit