For other recent threads on this topic, brace yourself and go to https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=36251707.
Apart from mourning the loss of a fantastic app by an awesome developer, to me it signals the end of a golden era of small indie client only apps. Since the APIs for the likes of reddit, twitter (RIP tweetbot) and others were available for free or a reasonable fee it spawned a whole cottage industry of developers who made a living selling alternate front ends for these services. These apps invented many of the conventions and designs that eventually percolated to the official clients. Sometimes these innovations even became platform wide conventions (pull to refresh anyone?). The writing was on the wall for a while, but now the door is firmly closed on that era - and we will all be poorer for it.
All good things have to end but this was avoidable.
I built HACK specifically to be able to be notified when people reply to me. That's one of my selling points.
I was spoiled by Apollo for Reddit and HACK has done the same thing for HN. Thank you!
And now I’m posting my first HN comment on this app to the dev hahah.
But don't worry, that's not going to happen here. You don't need a decentralized non-profit community, trust me. It's going to work out this time. Really.
With that said it's in YC's best interest to keep users happy, only change what is requested and generally keep the status quo. Unfortunately for a company like Reddit that is a social media site and has to make money with their social media product, keeping users happy at all costs is not in their best interest (though that has yet to be seen).
Note that all of these are still centralized, so still subjects to similar issues. Once again selfhosting is the best xay forward
But for the rest of us, there's always a choice to foster a new community. Whether there is enough for that, and if a server is ready for that load, are big questions to answer though
The reach of contrived political philosophy, fiat economic hustle, and pop culture gabber can be constrained; the obsolescence of /. , MySpace, and the like did not destroy reality. Now we know the outcome of the social media experiment. Utter dumpster fire.
It occurs to me people made a whole lot of small business work before handing sacks of cash to cloud SaaS
We need less adminisphere in all contexts so we can screw up again, let the wrong people helicopter us with banal AI bots, make lizard brain m sedate until it gets bored with AI bots. Then we’ll trot out a new copium for the masses and they can lean back again, super proud of their commitment to whatever hallucinated ideology they believe they’re serving.
All while waving off the ecological impact, because reality is just a big graph, mmmk
It's the normal users that suffer. Hopefully that suffering will hit Reddits usage/cash flows enough to make them u turn.
They still can, but most sites these days are fine going where the people go, and linking to their custom stuff.
The alternative is the god awful updated site or their app. I hope you like adverts.
Only if there was a way to host websites where no central authority ever owned the data and the people who ran relays got paid in some form of cryptographically secure crypto currency. Frontend clients that made requests would need to pay in the same token to avoid abuse.
What the pro-centralization argument misses is that centralized apps also have incentive to monetize their app, and monetization features can harm quality. But in the case of Reddit I'm not sure it's only monetization which has ruined the first-party user experience. The engineering quality is just bad.
It's because of misaligned incentives.
Third-party clients are good because their only focus is to provide the best user experience to the website content. The user is the customer, and pleasing the customer is what makes money.
First-party clients have all sorts of competing goals: showing ads, data mining, maximizing engagement, soliciting upsells (Reddit badges) and other dark patterns. Many of these conflict with providing good UX (especially ads.) The user is not the customer, advertisers are, so when the customer gets what he wants, the user gets the shaft.
First-party clients for ad-supported websites fundamentally can't be good. That's just not incentivized by the business model.
I wouldn't phrase it like that.
I'd say 'The anti-federation reality has always been that centralized entities have the authority to more quickly evolve their product.'
Whereas federated models have always had a terrible time upgrading standards in a timely manner, even when upgrades are obviously needed.
However, products typically exist in distinct phrases -- rapid growth/evolution is eventually followed by stability/maturity.
Once the product switches to that latter mode, the evolutionary speed benefits of centralization dull.
Obvious example: AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ's initial popularity... before multi-client Trillian et al. became preferable... because the limited intersection feature set it supported already covered everything everyone wanted to do via IMs.
Reddit reached feature completion and maturity a while ago, which made it ripe for disruption via a decentralized clone.
However, they're just realizing the emperor has no clothes and their only remaining moat is their existing users, and users are a fickle moat.
This seems like half the argument. The other half of the argument is that you could build a federated system of similar efficiency where everybody notifies/queries a central hub decided by convention.
The important-ish distinction is that you don't need as many resources (for polling) if you can generate enough trust that ~everyone is willing to push to you.
(I don't want to get up my own ass here, so to my mind the only thing that matters about "having enough resources to make a better product" is that you have all the content, presumably by crawling the entire network on shorter intervals than anyone else.)
In retrospect, some of the accounts might have been intended to make the left look extra ridiculous, not sure, but I don't really believe that's true, I've seen people chase enough bad ideas en masse now that I think these were well-meaning people who believed that by participating in this infernal attention mill, they were doing things that would change the world for the better.
Reddit has likewise never been even mediocre at what it's purporting to be, these are all just what happens when people approach the internet, which is one thing, as though it was a super cool television, which is a whole other thing. The illusion of participation and having a voice is really what people are buying with all their attention, because actually having a voice on the actual internet means knowing html at a minimum. Not actually a tall order for anyone who has a couple days and a willingness to do a bit of mental labour, but why bother when you can just post on whichever corporate daemon you favour.
The weirdest thing of all to me, I don't even know how I found this place but it's got some of the best interactions I've had since Usenet died, and I didn't know know what ycombinator was or why it wasn't called hackernews.net or whatever. To learn just this week that the platform is just a service operated by the people behind quite a lot of this VC fuckery, I'm still integrating it, but it kinda feels like I wandered into the country club after getting lost in the woods and nobody's asked who I'm here with or why I'm not fetching them a bowl of nuts.
Anyways didn't come to talk about that, came to say, been using Mastodon the last month or so, and I am also having pretty high quality interactions there. Nothing remotely like the idiocy I encountered daily in my Twitter feed. Occasionally a thing that I don't care for, like, I really don't need all the furry porn, holy crap are there ever a lot of very dedicated people servicing the furry market and I'm gonna be looking into that cause I know how to make tails move. But that filters out easy.
I'm on the main instance and I'm looking around at others while I decide whether to just self-host, but I enjoy the scroll with the accounts and hashtags I follow, the quality ranges from boring to amazing, very little annoying, trollish, spammy, Mindset-infected trash comes through my feed, and like I said, the only heavy filtering I've done is the porn.
Best part: I loved Facebook when I first joined and when I started to get discontented was when the default feed stopped being "what you follow in the order they post," and that has never been around since, except notably on reddit I suppose. Nothing wrong with having an algo feed available for discovery, and Mastodon has that, but your feed is just what you follow in the order they post as a default. So you scroll down till you realize you've seen it already, and you know you've seen it all for now and you move on. There is no machine trying to hold your attention, there is just what you asked for. What a concept.
The tech genius hobos, burnouts, and weirdos come here to rub elbows with the Patagucci vest crowd. The guy who manages this place ("dang") seems to tolerate us unwashed types, as long as we don't post polemics. You're not necessarily in the wrong place, but I can see how you might feel outnumbered.
Facebook is a former juggernaut of manipulating midwesterners and grandparents by driving them to bigoted echo chambers and serving them Republican targeted adverts. Now it is a wasteland of corporate pages and zombie meme groups, extremist recruitment groups for SE Asian political parties, coordination for death squads on the African continent, etc. it is impossible to host a town square or public commons discussion there.
Twitter is owned by a “libertarian” Republican techbro bigot who was financed by private Saudi equity after conversations with Thiel and a bunch of other alt-Right figures. It is swiftly become 4chan.
There are no longer Google+ forums; all the other message boards save for slashdot are unmoderated post apocalyptic horror shows roamed by Mad Max gangs (or fifteen year old gamers imagining they’re in Mad Max). Even Tumblr has at-scale difficulties countering & preventing hatred & harassment. They have no volunteer mods.
Reddit cleaned up starting in 2019. It’s home to many communities which are exactly as diverse, vibrant, and rewarding as they make themselves to be.
Reddit isn’t going to go under. It cannot. It has to persevere.
1. "better is subjective" and what reddit's native app is trying to do is "better" for reddit's bottom line.
2. more importantly, there is a case of "good enough". As I'm sure we've seen over the history of the internet, the "better product" doesn't always win. this is 1000x truer for social media. Reddit's app is "good enough" for those who use reddit casually it that they don't look for/at alternatives. it lets you scroll, look at pretty pictures, and maybe up/down vote quickly. Anything else to that user is fluff. You can skimp out on a lot of features, even core ones, if those 3 parts are good enough.
The problem with that, if it's true, is that those people are less likely to be the content creators and more likely to be people who come to read what the 'serious' Reddit users post. Losing the hardcore group of creators will kill Reddit because then there'll be nothing for the casual readers to read.
Ultimately, Reddit's main work is to serve a small core group of people who post new content, and that content is what draws the rest of the users. They'll need those users to be happy in the first party app. That might be the case already. If it isn't, Reddit are taking a huge risk.
They are risking the relationship to their army of unpaid cops though. These people are absolutely crucial for maintaining the gentrification of that space. Without them, all the hard work to slowly change the tone towards an ad-friendly and ideologically compliant tune is going to be lost. It is not unlikely, but by no means guaranteed that they can recruit another batch of people wohnst willing to do this for free after ruining the relationship with those who got invested during a time when the company was masquerading itself as a community.
It's a natural consequence.
I agree. I guess the gamble here (that historically, usually pays off) is that the casual userbase size is good enough to keep the power users around, who ultimately want visibility. That's the hardest part of the modern internet and why social media survive well past what would be downfalls for any other product.
I'm not going to say Reddit is too big to fail, but I don't think reddit's death will be by a thousand paper cuts. it will heal with new mods as fast as the old ones leave. Whether it whither and rots away over the years with that new modbase is the big question mark.
Then musk took over, and he banned them from using the API and forced them to close down. What a stand up guy.
Unfortunately Mastodon feels a bit empty, there's not many people on it yet.
It's no surprise that can end up feeling like an echo chamber. It's getting better than it was when I first started using it about six months ago but some of the posts people catch heat for seem a bit too over the top.
One of my favorite examples was a user who posted a photo of their dinner. It was nothing crazy just like rice, veggies, and chicken. They were immediately accosted for not posting a trigger warning since some people have eating disorders. That's the type of community I have no patience for.
Exactly! I can comment on a post and have real engagement with someone which hasn't happened in years on Twitter.
If Alice posted once the last months, and Bob 20 times, and they both post another post, then ... maybe Mastodon will promote Bob's post and demote Alice's because Bob has been more active? (I would have preferred the opposite, hmm)
To me it signals you're a fairly new entrant to the intertubez.
Third party frontends for a given backend have existed since time immemorial, with or without sanctioned access to the backend's innards.
Alternatives to Explorer and Program Manager for a Windows shell are one of the older examples, more contextually relevant and newer examples would be programs like Pidgin and Trillian which served as third party clients for AIM, MSN, YIM, ICQ, etc.
None of this in any general sense is going away, though specific examples might.
We can build a Reddit replacement… we just have to want to
He probably could have walked away will at least a few million vs shutting it down if there was a small level of negotiation that took place here. I'm not sure who was on the other end of the call but strategic accounts normally get pretty seasoned sales folks assigned to them. They are used to having hard conversations around pricing and pissed off customers. That's all part of negotiation.
That call was brutal to listen too.
Or, is saying you're shutting down part of negotiation too? This likely took it too far if it was, in that you're making reddit look like the bad guy very publicly now. So, it's probably worth it for reddit to cut ties and force people into the reddit app.
No winners here:
* Apollo the company is gone.
* Apollo users are gone.
* Reddit has no customer paying money.
* Reddit cannot reference them.
* Reddit users are ticked off.
It's really confusing. He wants Reddit to pay $10 million so he isn't "loud" with API usage? He wants them to buy and takeover the app? He's wants a payment to shutdown? Is he even serious about any of this? I get the impression he lacks the confidence to ask for a $10 million acquisition, so instead he approaches the subject casually as a joke, and the entire conversation spirals into confusion due to the lack of clarity.
Either way, that's not a great deal for Reddit. They might as well charge the $20 million, and if he can't find a way to pay it then Apollo shuts down and the majority of users return to the official Reddit site/app for free. There's no benefit to paying $10 million.
The call was a failure between the two parties and likely destroyed any future negotiations. I think the best suggestion was from another user here. Only allow Reddit official subscribers to use third party apps. Reddit can charge users whatever they want, and app developers can monetize their apps however they choose.
Your first sentence misrepresents what the Apollo dev said. Actually, it's the exact same misrepresentation that the Reddit CEO knowingly made in public.
First off, it's abundantly clear that the Apollo dev wasn't actually demanding money. It was a pointed statement that revealed the CEO wasn't being honest about the costs.
The CEO, in contradiction with publicly available data, claimed that Apollo was costing Reddit $20 million per year in lost opportunity. So the dev jokingly offered to sell Apollo for half that price. Then Reddit would be able to recoup the cost in half a year and gain an additional $20 million yearly. What a great deal, right? Except they both knew that the $20 million price tag was complete bogus.
I disagree, I think the Apollo dev would have happily taken the $10 million.
> Then Reddit would be able to recoup the cost in half a year and gain an additional $20 million yearly. What a great deal, right? Except they both knew that the $20 million price tag was complete bogus.
The $20 million price is irrelevant here. Reddit doesn't need to pay to acquire these users. They are Reddit users (they're registered there, and Reddit knows everything about them). They can close down Apollo and they'll get almost all the users back for free.
If Apollo had a standalone community, then it's easy to calculate the value of a user, and a fair price for acquisition. But, that's not the case here.
Don't take this the wrong way, I'm not siding with Reddit and I think both sides are losing here due to their poor management.
That doesn't mean he was demanding money.
> If Apollo had a standalone community, then it's easy to calculate the value of a user, and a fair price for acquisition
I do agree it's difficult to calculate the value of a user in this case.
Yes, Apollo users are Reddit users, but they are specifically Reddit users who don't use Reddit's official clients. The question is how many of those users will move to Reddit's official app after June 30, and how many will look for alternative platforms that aren't so manipulative and abusive. I for one have deleted my Reddit account and won't be going back.
I think you're in the minority. If there was a well known Reddit alternative at the moment, I could see Reddit having their Digg moment and losing a large part of the community. Subreddits could blackout and threaten to leave to the other website. That is something that would be taken seriously. Dozens of subreddits with 1-50 million users potentially jumping ship at once. If you had the right platform, with the right attributes and reputation, the stars would be perfectly aligned to take in a mass number of Reddit users. But, no one is in the right position to catch the ball at the moment (I don't claim it's an easy position to be in). It's actually unfortunate, because these moments don't come too often and I believe it allows Reddit to make these changes with little repercussions. Fans of old.reddit.com better watch out, I bet it's on the chopping block within the next year.
It was the same with Facebook: You want me to use my real name? I'm gone. Never used Facebook again. Specifically in Germany (where I would argue the population values privacy more than in other nations) that was a deal breaker for a lot of them when they started enforcing that policy.
(This example is not about a platform but more of an example of quitting a product because of "bad" behavior) Mobile games getting more and more P2W and have a half-life of ~1 year? Yeah, count me out. Especially with that example I know a lot more people that said "fuck that" and won't touch mobile games with a ten foot pole anymore.
And honestly it will be the same with Reddit. It's not like it's essential. I'll be good without it and I would guess many more people too. The two examples I gave made my life better (less screen time) and the Reddit move will do the same.
As for how it'll play out for the majority of people: I guess we'll see. But looking at Reddits latest track record of bad decisions I would argue it won't be the last one and there is a lot of potential to create a new Digg moment.
I don't have a real name on Facebook not have any of my friends. There are also a lot of fake/troll accounts on Facebook. I don't think they ever enforced that policy.
Further I wouldn’t be trusting a hot take from ~100 points GuestXXXXXX at this point of the PR dumpster fire cycle.
> Apollo threatened us, said they’ll “make it easy” if Reddit gave them $10 million.
I think you underestimate the fallout here.
I don’t know if I’ll quit Reddit entirely, but I’m certainly done engaging at the level that I use to. I no longer trust how Reddit will decide to use my data or how they’ll pull the rug from me. They’re pre-IPO and already getting desperate. Shits going to hit the fan when they IPO and investors expect constant growth.
Any thread about Google Search on here is filled with people saying they have to do "site:reddit.com" to get accurate results. I've never seen another site used in that example. I'd love to be proven wrong on this because it means there's some great internet resource I've been missing out on.
Lemmy is developed by and its main instance run by tankers. We need a healthier alternative.
> Tankie is a pejorative label for communists, particularly Stalinists, who support the authoritarian tendencies of Marxism–Leninism or, more generally, authoritarian states associated with Marxism–Leninism in history.
> The term is also used to describe people who endorse, defend, or deny the crimes committed by communist leaders such as Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and Kim il-Sung. In modern times, the term is used across the political spectrum to describe those who have a bias in favor of authoritarian communist states, such as the People's Republic of China, the Syrian Arab Republic, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Additionally, tankies have a tendency to support non-socialist states if they are opposed to the United States and the Western world in general.
Or a quick way - if you think of countries that have military parades with tanks rolling down city streets, those are supported by "tankies".
Does it matter though if Lemmie is run by such a group when you could potentially spin up your own instance where you enforce totally opposing values?
(alas, its shut down... but it used to be that if you looked at the 'moderated servers on a mastodon site you'd find parler in that list which was a modified mastodon instance that no one else wanted to talk to)
If your content is sufficiently shunned from the main instances/interchanges how discoverable would your posts be? Or would you go "ok" and accept the political or philosophical lean of the main site so that your content got syndicated/federated to others?
Obviously there's nothing stopping from some instances from creating closed or gated content, but the public facing ones with like 10-20 years of gardening input freely given by end users can never be taken away from the community, which is what's happening with Reddit and has happened with IMDB and countless others.
Those were the people using Apollo in the first place.
Apollo has no leverage here unless there is strong evidence most of the Apollo users will leave Reddit if the app shuts down. I don't believe they will. The other potential leverage is the upcoming subreddit blackouts, or hinting at taking the Apollo users to start a competitor. The developer said they are not going to build a competitor (that was a mistake, they shouldn't have revealed that card), so I think the blackouts are the only chance of lowering API costs.
If Apollo's userbase was actually generating $20mm/yr, acquiring Apollo for $10mm is a no-brainer. But if that were the case, keeping Apollo running as it is would also work.
Obviously this is not the case. Apollo is confusing costing $20mm with generating $20mm.
Not sure how people are misunderstanding him, he literally said he was joking… He knows it’s not a great deal for Reddit. His whole point is that the app isn’t actually worth $20 million a year, which is what they want him to pay. It’s not even worth $10 million. Not to him or Reddit or anyone else.
Right now there seems to be two options on the table.
1. The Apollo dev pays $20 million per year for API access.
2. Apollo shuts down and the users return to the official Reddit website/app for advertising.
If Reddit is refusing to lower their API pricing, doesn't this mean the users are worth $20 million? If the users were worth $1 million, then why wouldn't Reddit charge $2 million for the API and double their income on those users?
That being said, something else must be at play here. The users are not worth $20 million and Reddit refuses to take anything less than $20 million. If I had to guess, they want to boost metrics before going public and are willing to take a hit to their reputation to do so.
It’s the same reason I don’t use instagram—seeing an ad every two images bugs the crap out of me. The difference with Reddit is there was a nice third party option.
1) ok so, according to you I’m costing you $20M/year in API load
2) How about you pay me $10M which is 6 months of your cost, and I turn off the $20M/year burden immediately.
3) you make your money back in 6 months and within a year are up $10M
The problem is Apollo does not cost Reddit $20M/year lol
Him not rabble rousing their user base against them would have been the benefit.
Also, what's the deal with him not wanting to start a competitor? That's like his only bargaining chip in this situation, and he's just throwing it away because he feels overwhelmed and wants to make iOS widgets. I totally sympathize with him and how this situation is probably incredibly stressful, but when you have 50k+ subscribers per year + millions of happy loyal users, you gotta start bringing in outside people to help with these things. He's just letting a lot of people down.
I don't mean to trash the guy, but I hope that the other third-party apps see this example and change their response to find a better outcome for their users.
He's made it abundantly clear why he doesn't want to do that, who are you (or anyone else but him) to say "No you're not allowed to have opinions, you MUST create your own alternative"?
> I've received so many messages of kind people offering to work with me to build a competitor to Reddit, and while I'm very flattered, that's not something I'm interested in doing. I'm a product guy, I like building fun apps for people to use, and I'm just not personally interested in something more managerial.
> These last several months have also been incredibly exhausting and mentally draining, I don't have it in me to engage in something so enormous.
Also bad from a business perspective. It likely would cost way less than 10m to build a competitor, functionality wise.
Reddit from 2017 or so is open source!
It’s pretty clear that there’s no negotiating left, so I’m not sure what relevance this has anymore. A few days ago? Yeah maybe.
If the CEO is maliciously accusing you of threatening them, then there’s nothing left to negotiate. The relationship is beyond broken.
> Also bad from a business perspective. It likely would cost way less than 10m to build a competitor, functionality wise.
He has already made it clear he’s not interested in building a competitor (the quote is literally right there in the comment you replied to), so, once again, what’s your point?
It’s plainly evident that Christian is done, and I don’t blame him.
The RIF and Sync devs are too, and I’m sure all the other apps will soon announce shutdowns at the end of the month too.
This should have gone like, "Hey, in a few months we're rolling this out and wanted to give you a heads up so you know before anyone else, since you're a major API user. We wanted to offer you a grace period and special pricing. When's a good time to chat we'll fly out.". Fly the sales team over to where he lives, wine and dine him, etc. This is what sales people do all day long for deals that are like $250k+. For deals that are $20 million a year you'll have all parts of the company bending over backwards trying to win that.
This is all just my opinion based on what I've read so far.
If they wanted him to pay $20 million, they'd certainly have given him much better than a brief phone call.
But that's the point. They're revealing with their actions that they don't actually want him to pay the money. What they want is to shut it down. Charging a sum of money that they know he won't pay is just an easy way to do that.
I pay Apple more than a million a month and I don’t even have a contact email.
Just saying, a Christmas card would be nice.
Because some people don’t want to! And that’s okay.
> ... I've finally come to the conclusion that I don't think this situation is recoverable. If Reddit is willing to stoop to such deep lows as to slander individuals with blatant lies to try to get community favor back, I no longer have any faith they want this to work, or ever did.
If a bargaining chip is only useful in making a deal you've decided cannot be made, why bother holding onto it? Better to tell your fans outright that you're worn out and not interested.
Would you want to moderate Reddit? I get that Apollo is in a good position to take their users with them, but it's not like it's going to be easy to build a Reddit when what you've made so far has been a frontend for Reddit and some mobile widget spin-offs.
Many of us can make a frontpage for hacker news in a few hours, some might even be able to grow a userbase on it but that doesn't mean we can do what dang does.
But I would enjoy HN more with a soupcon of joking (currently considered zero-value). I benefit from my bread being leavened, I like programming tutorials with humour. So it's understandable why people might want to change the policy.
Yeah, what's the deal with this iOS developer not wanting to start a competitor to checks notes one of the largest websites in the world? Surely you just up and did that last week, it's no big deal.
I guess I should start getting used to saying "Jesus christ, HN" now that I won't be saying "Jesus christ, Reddit" anymore.
In addition to what everyone else has said, he really has 1 month if he has any chance of siphoning off reddit users.
I suspect that both reddit and apollo know that most of the content generation happens on Reddit controlled properties.
Apollo users probably do not generate enough content to sustain a reddit-like website.
That is not at all the same as building an iOS client using an API as a one man show (or 1-3) and directly selling that.
From the post:
> I bring this [audio recording] up for two reasons: ... It shows why I've finally come to the conclusion that I don't think this situation is recoverable. If Reddit is willing to stoop to such deep lows as to slander individuals with blatant lies to try to get community favor back, I no longer have any faith they want this to work, or ever did.
He mentions that it was spez AKA Steve Huffman the CEO of reddit. The call really does sound amateurish and the joke/negotiation tactic/money request/??? was really unprofessional but Steve seems to have completely misconstrued the whole interaction and blown up at him. I would say this is worse of the CEO to use this to spread slander especially when he already apologised for misunderstanding Selig and then privately walked it back
Christian is acting in a surprisingly civil manner despite the repeated lies and smears made by Steve and others at Reddit. I see that as being professional.
Also, what things are priced at is not what they cost …
> Also, what things are priced at is not what they cost …
So if that’s the best argument in favor of Reddit, then it’s Reddit that’s being illogical. Or to be more straight, lying.
> Why go for $10m if there is no need to because you have already adjusted your own pricing upwards.
Because $20M is neither the amount Christian was earning, nor the cost that Reddit was paying to provide API access. Steve explicitly said it was a lost opportunity. There was simply no way that Christian could’ve paid that insane price. However, Reddit could’ve earned $20M themselves per year by acquiring Apollo. If the $20M opportunity was even remotely true, that is.
Yeah, the conversation is so cringe. Why is he beating around the bush so much ? He wants to sell, shut down, or whatever for a $10M payout. It sounds easy to make that proposition. Instead, he uses terrible verbiage like, "go quiet, I'm joking, opportunity cost, Bob's your uncle, yada yada". Why is he so terrible at talking ? Nothing in the call resembles a sales pitch if he is actually trying to sell a product for $10M.
He's a 20-something year old developer. This isn't his comfort zone and did not expect himself to be in this position.
I know I would be terrible if I was in his shoes.
This call was awful to hear as an entrepreneur. He is not at all clear about what he wants, and I think he's honest when he says it's "mostly a joke" - I'm getting the sense he threw out a strangely-worded scenario hoping that he could perhaps get some money. If he was serious about getting money, and he's primarily a software developer and not a negotiator, it would've been lovely if he had gotten proper counsel for this negotiation.
The response seems to be a resounding no.
He is asking for clarification, something you do when you have a good business relationship with someone.
> He wants to sell, shut down, or whatever for a $10M payout.
He doesn't. He is saying that 20$M is clearly overpriced and that if it was true then reddit would come up with a ludricous number like 10M to make that API be turned off. He just uses quiet because reddit described the API use as Loud.
It's not an offer, it's calling someone's bluff out.
Think in poker someone says "my hand is worth 20 million" and you got pretty good cards you would tell them "go all in because I am gonna keep covering whatever you raise" and then they do not go All In, you got a pretty good case to think their initial comment was not true.
Let that be the lesson: don't sink your time (and money) into building OSS (or a business) on top of a platform. It's like building on sand.
The business plan and your personal savings should reflect that it can (and will) disappear in an instant.
Reddit pays Apollo 10M, starts serving their ads in the app, and now rakes in 20M/year without any extra effort.
Conversely, now they need to convince all the angry users of Apollo to come back to use their shitty website/app, something that will never happen. A lot of people that aren’t even using Apollo are going to be angry at the mistreatment and leave the site altogether. On the whole it’s quite likely that Reddit’s losses will amount to more than the 10M they’d have to pay once to get a ton of money in the future.
They are. They're just pretending they aren't. No one is going to pay the amount they're charging.
Don’t be afraid to bring people in when something is outside your area of expertise.
If he's leaving all that on the table out of spite, well thats his money to lose. But he shouldn't call the world unfair
Reddit's actions here make it pretty clear that they just want the app (all third-party apps) to shut down — if they actually wanted a solution they could easily lower the pricing to something more realistic and/or give a slightly longer transition period.
No. Apple chooses this on their own. Their internal teams find new and interesting apps, songs, etc.
When they announced the iPhone X, they used a band without telling them before. They asked the band to send them some music samples and just a generic "this might end up on an Apple marketing material one day". The band was shocked when it turned out to be THE song on THE intro video for the iPhone X.
There's a reason labor is losing power to owners and it's because they aren't having fights like Christian.
Christian is showing how to give our children a future.
In a way, Reddit couldn't have asked for a worse outcome, they have come out looking terrible and he has come out looking great and defining the community discussion.
> He also lives in a country that doesn't require all parties to consent to recording
Ok it's not technically illegal it's just extremely unprofessional. If a business did that people would erupt.
He threatened them three times. Pay him 10 million dollars and he'll go away quietly, or else he'll send the reddit mob at them. Which is exactly what he just did when they didn't pay. He tried as hard as he could to do it. The actual audio with his tone of voice is way worse than the transcript. He told them 3 times just pay 10 million dollars and: "I could make it really easy on you", "we can both skip off into the sunset", "Bob's your uncle", "And have Apollo quiet down". Later he says Oh haha just kidding, I'm a "noisy API user".
The CEO of the company spread a rumour, knowing its false, about him. That is Slander and it IS illegal.
Lying at the start of the year about how you do not have a short or medium term plan for an api payed model and then in June springing 30 day time period (when apple apps review can take two weeeks by itself) is extremely unprofessional but not illegal.
See the difference?
It's something that's obviously true. It would usually be way more subtle.
Explain? How does someone apologise 4 times for misunderstanding something and then turn around and pretend they never apologised behind that persons back and that the initial comment was made maliciously?
CEO of reddit is allowed to mishear things, he is also allowed to apologise and move on once things have been clarified.
What is illegal is to then go and say things that are demostrably false that affect someones reputation or chance of employment. If Christian goes to a single interview, meeting, sales pitch etc and someone even makes the briefest comment about "we don't wanna be blackmailed later", he can take Steve Hauffman all the way in front of a judge. Play the phone tape and collect more money that way than any number of years running Apollo.
The again Steve Hauffman changed someones comment on reddit which is a change in production which I am also sure its on very grey rea of legality, specially when people have their reddit account tied to their person, or business. If Retures europe posted about Ukraine and he changed their comment I am sure that would certainly be illegal, he only gets away because he did it to a private citizen and because the ethics board of reddit didn't fire him on the spot as they should have
Would you apologise once, much less 4 times if you where being blackmailed?
Like this is just denial of reality, you have the phone call, we all do, what kind of nonsense attempt of gaslighting is this?
We are but and it's a perfect analogy. The dress was objectively blue and black but some people saw it as white and gold. You're team white and gold here.
The features, the polish, the customizability — everything about it is really top notch.
Personally, 1) is not really an issue and people are enjoying the outrage train, and that's ok and valid and whatever, but it's a third party app. It's a no-brainer decision to try to kill it if it's hindering your ability to make more money. At the mid term is a great incentive for Reddit to improve their shitty app experience ("but Ads!" yeah, ads of course, you're not paying shot for using it, it's an impopular but pragmatic business model)
But 2) it's the one that's really concerning. Hopefully they reverse this course for this point specifically cause this has a measurable impact on eyeballs, which ultimately means money.
inb4: "Apollo dying means less eyeballs too dummy", yeah as I mentioned before the outrage is the fad. Once it passes, will see how much people actually leaves (little to none alternatives for Reddit btw). My bet is that could result in a small hump, if anything, in the long run.
They could have simply said "Due to business pressures, we're going to stop offering our API in 1 year" and honestly, nobody would have blinked an eye.
Or they could have said "Due to business pressures, we're going to include advertisements in the API. Any clients found deliberately not displaying the ads will have their API keys permanently revoked."
Or they could have said "Due to business pressures, we're going to stop offering free API access. Users who subscribe to Reddit can use their own personal API keys with a limit of 1000 calls per day."
They did none of those things; they raised prices to a point that was completely untenable and gave app developers 30 days to FOAD.
Surely there is a reasonable business case to be made for this policy change. Attempted character assassination of a 3rd party developer with blatant falsehoods, not so much. I dunno, maybe they aren't worried and there's plenty of investors an wall street ready to hand over big bags of money to a demonstrated liar.
Why is this not an issue for user's protesting? I use Relay for Reddit on Android and I think it's absolutely the best way to view Reddit on mobile if you're a fan of old.reddit.com.
That app is going to die and I say screw them. I owe reddit nothing. If they want to turn the site into something that I don't want to use because it makes them more money that way. Good luck with that but I won't be around to see it.
I'd gladly pay for Reddit Premium (which has no ads) to continue to use 3rd party apps that I like. But it's not about the money or the ads -- it's about control.
I get the feeling that some people are trying to spin this into a crusade of sorts, I fully get this feeling from your words.
And there's nothing inherently wrong with that I guess, but look a the big picture as well: you've used the services of a private company for years, paying zero cents. They made a business decision after potentially delaying it for years, and you rant about control.
This outrage makes little sense, we don't own Reddit, never had. We're just making noise because some of us confused private property for their own.
But if they're profitability involves alienating me as a user then I'm going to be alienated and I'm going to act like I'm alienated. I think the outrage makes perfect sense in this case. I'm equally outraged at other companies doing things that manipulate their customers for a tiny bit more profit (like shrinkflation).
Ironically they could have turned this situation into profit from me as I'm happy to pay for Reddit if it was required to allow me to use it in the way that I'm accustomed. Instead of embracing me as a customer, they want me gone.
In the end, it's their site and their decision to make, but it's understandable many people are upset by their actions and no longer want to use the site (which, btw, even if you were using it for "free" you may have been contributing in other ways via posts, comments, moderation, etc).
It also means losing potential customers - I would have been willing to upgrade to Reddit Premium to continue using Apollo, for example, but now I wouldn't even consider it.
While that's not false, look at it the other way: I've provided content for a private company for years, taking zero payment. Millions of us have. Reddit lives and dies by user submissions and comments, and taking what seems to be a stance that's wildly hostile to users feels very foolish to me.
Can you realistically expect to have some sort of return, wether in control or whatever for that? It feels more aligned to a tantrum rather than a coherent argument. Have we consiously forget how Web 2.0 works?
Cue people being understandably upset.
https://reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/142w159/askhisto... covers the moderation side.
https://reddit.com/r/Blind/comments/13zr8h2/reddits_recently... Talks about accessibility.
The no-brainer decision would be to make your app a lot better than any third-party app instead of pulling the rug from under people whose work has made reddit better in the long-run.
Third party apps representing less than 5% of Reddit's traffic, this is by far not "most people's" favorite app.