cross-posted from:

One of the arguments made for Reddit’s API changes is that they are now the go to place for LLM training data (e.g. for ChatGPT).

I haven’t seen a whole lot of discussion around this and would like to hear people’s opinions. Are you concerned about your posts being used for LLM training? Do you not care? Do you prefer that your comments are available to train open source LLMs?

(I will post my personal opinion in a comment so it can be up/down voted separately)

Reddit has every right to charge for their API, but the amount they wanted to charge was too high.

Other use cases aren’t relevant here either. They could have come to an agreement with Apollo etc that would have charged them reasonable rates while charging more to data scrapers. They could have done ads and dev share on the mobile apps. Most people wouldn’t have objected to that.

That part’s not a Reddit-specific problem though. I’ve seen a similar pattern play out at several companies I work for:

  • charge extra for a new premium feature
  • a new client with deep pockets comes along and wants part of that feature, but doesn’t want all of it, so doesn’t want to pay for it
  • sales really wants to catch this big fish
  • sales promises to build a new feature that does the same thing as the existing feature
  • the company loses more money than they would have by just giving the feature away for free, since now they’re also paying engineers to build the free version.

I think another huge problem that you didn’t mention was the timeframe. Had they given the apps even 6 months from announcing the price they may have been able to pivot to subscriptions. The short timeframe (combined with the gaslighting from the CEO) makes it hard to want to try though.

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