Reddit CEO Steve Huffman stands up for API modifications during Ask Me Anything (AMA) session.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman stands up for API modifications

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman has addressed the controversy surrounding the company’s API changes in a public Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. Despite the backlash from the community and the impending shutdown of several third-party Reddit apps, Huffman defended the modifications and emphasized the need for Reddit to operate as a profitable business.

In his AMA post, Huffman stated that Reddit must be self-sustaining and can no longer subsidize commercial entities relying on extensive data usage. He acknowledged that certain apps, such as Apollo, Reddit is Fun, and Sync, have chosen to close down rather than adapt to the new pricing structure.

During the AMA, Huffman provided brief responses to questions, acknowledging some mistakes in the API rollout but avoiding more challenging inquiries about the company’s relationship with third-party developers. He admitted that the 30-day timeline given to developers for the new API was tight and mentioned ongoing conversations with interested developers.

However, some developers expressed frustration, claiming they had been ignored by Reddit despite attempting to reach out through the recommended channels. Huffman apologized for the oversight and promised that the company would respond to their inquiries.

When questioned about the company’s accusation that developer Christian Selig of Apollo had threatened Reddit, Huffman defended the claim, criticizing Selig’s behavior and communication with the company. Huffman declined to provide specific examples of the alleged behavior when requested by Selig.

Huffman also addressed improvements being made to Reddit’s native app, particularly focusing on enhancing moderation tools and accessibility features. He attributed the restriction on sexually explicit content in third-party apps to evolving regulations and legal concerns, stating that strict measures were necessary to manage such content.

In response to the perception that Reddit has become more profit-oriented and less community-focused, Huffman unapologetically stated that the company would prioritize profitability until it became profitable itself, contrasting it with some third-party apps that were already profitable.

Notably, Huffman did not address certain topics, such as the developers’ complaints about the high pricing of the API and the impending blackout of thousands of subreddits protesting the changes. Over 3,000 subreddits plan to go offline for two days as a form of protest starting on June 12th.

By the end of the AMA, Huffman had responded to 14 questions, with a few other executives also contributing. However, their answers were heavily downvoted within the AMA thread, making them difficult to view. A moderator later compiled all their responses and linked them at the top of the thread, acknowledging the difficulty in locating the answers.