Following Twitter, which decided to restrict third-party access to its data, Reddit on Tuesday, April 18, announced the launch of the practice of charging for the use of the API.
In this case, the company does not fully change its policy. Free access to the API continues to be provided to developers who are engaged in creating applications and bots. This applies to those products that help to use Reddit. Free access has also been retained for researchers whose goal is to study the Internet service solely for academic purposes and in the context of an interest that does not provide for commercial gain.
Companies that scan Reddit in search of data and in no way return this value to users will have to pay from now on. This was announced by Reddit co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman. He also stated that the current moment is the most suitable for tightening the rules of access to the platform, and noted that this decision is fair.
The partial change in the company’s approach to providing access is due to efforts to find options for monetizing extensive user content, which is increasingly being used to train machine learning models with the function of generating text material, such as ChatGPT from OpenAI and GPT-4.
In 2019, the number of active Reddit users was more than 430 million people monthly. Steve Huffman said that this Internet platform is of particular value since it is updated on an ongoing basis. He also called Reddit a home for sincere communication, noting that on this virtual platform users can share what they do not dare to tell their psychotherapist or anyone at all. Steve Huffman stressed that this value should not be free for some of the largest companies in the world.
The media admit that the decision on paid access for certain categories of users could have been made under the influence of shareholders. Reddit has not yet reported pricing information for its API. At the end of this year, the company plans to hold its first public offering of shares. Investors will be looking for ways to increase income and new sources of their receipts.
In August 2021, the value of Reddit was approximately $ 10 billion. In the same year, the company earned $350 million through advertising. This amount does not seem significant against the background of a similar profit between Meta and Twitter, which earned $113 and $7 billion last year, respectively.
Reddit also announces intentions to introduce artificial intelligence technologies. Through AI, the company intends, for example, to improve moderation.
As we have reported earlier, Reddit introduced new real-time features.