During the initial day of a widespread protest against Reddit’s proposed API changes, the website encountered a significant outage. On Monday, Reddit faced various issues, coinciding with the blackout of numerous subreddits as a form of protest against the platform’s new API pricing terms. Reddit acknowledged that the blackout was the cause of the problems, with spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt stating that the shift of a significant number of subreddits to private resulted in anticipated stability issues. The company reported that the outage was fully resolved at 1:28PM ET.
The problems began on Monday morning, affecting Reddit’s desktop and mobile sites, as well as its native mobile apps, as indicated on Reddit’s status page. The company assured users that they were aware of the content loading problems and were working to resolve them swiftly. Throughout the day, Reddit observed improvements and expected most users’ issues to recover. Verge staffers reported difficulties in loading Reddit.com, although some subreddits remained accessible. At its peak, there were around 43,000 user reports of issues on Downdetector, but the number of reports subsequently decreased. Additionally, a site that tracked the number of private subreddits on a Twitch stream appeared to be affected by the outage but later returned to normal.
In response to the API pricing terms, over 7,000 subreddits have gone private or switched to read-only mode. This has resulted in apps like Apollo for Reddit announcing their closure by the end of the month. The new pricing structure is perceived as potentially cost-prohibitive for developers, with the creator of Apollo for Reddit estimating an annual operating cost of over $20 million. Redditors are also concerned about the impact of the API changes on accessibility apps, although Reddit has stated that such apps will be exempt from the pricing adjustments. Despite discontent among users and subreddits going private earlier than planned, Reddit’s CEO, Steve Huffman, remained firm on the company’s position during an AMA session. As of the reporting on Sunday, Reddit had no plans to change the announced API pricing.