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Monday, May 27, 2024

Reddit CEO Tells Employees in a Memo the Blackout 'Will Pass'

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Reddit CEO Steve Huffman told employees that the ongoing blackout of thousands of subreddits "will pass," The Verge reports.

In an internal memo sent to staff (and obtained by The Verge), Huffman addressed the recent protests going on this week. Major subreddit communities, such as Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, and Star Wars, have gone dark to protest the new API price changes. Huffman noted in the memo that the company knew the protests were "coming" but stated that the blackout had not been a "significant revenue impact for the company" despite more than 8,000 Reddit communities going dark to protest the new API pricing.

Despite the recent protests and backlash Reddit has received regarding the new API pricing, the company anticipates that the subreddits currently protesting will return to the site on Wednesday. "There's a lot of noise with this one. Among the noisiest we've seen," Huffman wrote in the memo. "Please know that our teams are on it, and like all blowups on Reddit, this one will pass as well."

The memo comes less than a week after Huffman hosted an AMA to address the new API pricing, which angered many Redditors upset that the company would not budge on its new API changes.

Reddit announced the new API pricing in April as a way for the company to make money as the API, which has been available since 2008, was being used for free by companies like OpenAI who, among other things, utilized the site data to train AI tools such as ChatGPT.

However, the new API change has negatively impacted popular third-party Reddit apps, most notably Apollo, which announced it was shutting down later this month. The app's developer, Christian Selig, noted that under this new policy, it would cost him upwards of $20 million annually to run the app.

Taylor is a Reporter at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.

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