Criticism of Reddit’s app exploded just one week before major subreddits intend to protest the company’s plans regarding third-party options.
Specifically, Reddit last week implemented a new pricing scheme for third-party app developers that rely on its API.
In response, developers for some of the popular third-party apps argued that they would be forced to pay upwards of $20 million per year as a result, although a Reddit employee has argued that the high price is due to the inefficiency of some third-party apps.
Either way, subreddits such as r/videos, which boasts more than 26.7 million members, plan to go private for 48 hours starting June 12 in protest of the decision.
The planned protest has re-sparked major criticisms of Reddit’s app, which many say pales in comparison to the third-party apps they prefer to use, which will be affected by the API price change.
The API allows third-party developers to access and use data Reddit’s data, and many users have come to rely on alternatives to the Reddit app to access the site. Many users prefer the popular Reddit reader app Apollo, which they say offers a much more streamlined experience than the Reddit app itself.
The developer behind Apollo, Christian Selig, said, “I don’t see how this pricing is anything based in reality or remotely reasonable. I hope it goes without saying that I don’t have that kind of money or would even know how to charge it to a credit card.”
In comments on the 14.3 million member strong subreddit r/technology, users listed out their grievances regarding the official Reddit app.
“The fact that the official Reddit app doesn’t even ATTEMPT to work well with screen readers and other accessibility features is a fucking joke,” one user remarked. “We need third party apps for that reason alone.”
“The reason is simple: disabled people aren’t a viable ad revenue source,” another said in response.
Another user even claimed to download the app for the first time to see whether all the complaints were legitimate.
“Right off the bat it looks like some shit someone wrote as a little weekend project,” they said. “Feels really beta.”
Some even threatened to leave Reddit altogether if the company’s plans went forward.
“The official Reddit app is terrible. The only thing it does better than other apps, is it has a chat feature,” another added. “I only use Reddit on mobile. If Reddit kills 3rd party apps. My days of redditing are over.”
Despite the backlash, Reddit appears unwilling to budge. Reddit’s decision comes shortly after Twitter outright banned all third-party apps and changed its pricing for API access as well.