Business Intelligence Developer Reddit – Reddit’s upcoming API changes will see AI companies rise / Reddit is recognized as a significant source of data for AI chatbots, and now the company is adding a new developer API term in an effort to monetize its data.
By Umar Shakir, a news writer who loves the electric vehicle lifestyle and things that connect via USB-C. He spent over 15 years in IT support before joining The Verge.
Business Intelligence Developer Reddit
Reddit announced new API changes today that will eventually pinch its content pipeline from being used to train artificial intelligence tools, including models that support OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Microsoft’s AI Bing. AI chatbots’ ability to provide powerful answers has data resources like Reddit to thank – and now Reddit plans to put those robot fodder behind a paywall.
Reddit Channels Every Programmer Should Follow
Social media resources, including Reddit, are some of the resources used to train large language models (LLMs) that can provide convincing responses to human requests. Some of this data can be retrieved in unstructured ways, but Reddit’s APIs have helped companies make it easy to find and package useful data right away.
Reddit’s API, which has been available since 2008, was previously open enough for developers to do almost anything. That includes building tools that help moderate subreddits, create a Reddit browsing client, and make sites more searchable. Reddit plans to keep the API free for some use cases, such as for those building moderation tools or using Reddit in educational and research environments.
Reddit’s new terms apply to developers using its API in ways that require “wider usage rights” and will not provide automatic licenses for anyone needing to modify user content, as published in its new Data API terms. This means commercial uses, such as a training LLM, will not be granted a developer license and will instead require the party “to enter into a separate agreement with Reddit.” Reddit hasn’t detailed how much it plans to charge companies that use its data commercially.
Reddit hasn’t gone into more detail about how the API changes will directly affect third-party Reddit clients like Apollo, Rif, and Relay. It does mention in the Data API terms that it can impose limits on how many API requests it can make — which can be quite high for clients because they need to use OAuth tokens to authenticate Reddit users. Apollo’s sole developer, Christian Selig, asked Reddit how “enforcing speed limits” would affect apps like his. One Reddit admin replied vaguely, saying that it depended on the volume of use of the API and whether it was “on our terms”.
The Reddit App War Is Getting Messy
This API change comes as Reddit plans an initial public offering for later this year. Most of the company’s monetization comes in the form of advertising (which has its own API) and digital goods. But as more AI platforms emerge, Reddit wants to build value from its user-generated content. “Reddit’s corpus of data is invaluable,” said Reddit CEO Steve Huffman in an interview with The New York Times. “We don’t need to give all that value to some of the biggest companies in the world for free.” The changes also follow a much broader lockdown of Twitter’s API under Elon Musk’s ownership — which can affect both commercial and non-commercial users.
The new Reddit Terms will take effect “after a 60 day notice period” once developers and third parties receive official email notifications. Reddit will also be releasing a new built-in moderator tool that works with its official iOS and Android apps.
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