Reddit protests: 'Rif is fun', other 3rd-party apps say they are shutting down; Users dismayed
Rif is fun is an Android-based third-party app for Reddit that has more than 5 million downloads on Google Play Store.
Reddit is arguably the biggest discussion forum on the web. According to Similarweb, it ranks 20th in the most visited websites in the world. Part of the reason for Reddit's popularity is its cohesive ecosystem that is maintained by users, moderators, third-party app developers, and Reddit administrators (the corporate team behind the platform) all working together. So, it was not really a surprise that after Reddit announced its new API policy and its pricing system, the entire ecosystem has been thrown into chaos due to the vehement protests against the move.
A perfect example came yesterday, June 12, as many major subreddits went private causing a Reddit blackout, the website suffered one of its biggest outages and users were left frustrated at not being able to access their favorite communities. And it was all sparked by one single event — the third-party apps declaring that they were shutting down their services.
At the forefront of this shutdown was Apollo, an iOS-based third-party app for Reddit. Its developer Christian Selig declared that the app would stop operating after June 30 as it would require him to spend a yearly $20 million just to keep the app running, an amount much higher than what he makes from the app. But Apollo is not the only app suffering from it.
Rif is fun for Reddit announces it will shut shop by June 30
Rif is fun for Reddit (formerly Reddit is fun) for Android is what Apollo is for iOS. With more than 5 million downloads, it is one of the most popular third-party apps for the platform and with an active developer releasing regular updates, many users have been using it as the primary mode to access Reddit.
However, shocking its userbase, its developer who goes by the username talklittle on Reddit, announced that the app will be closing by June 30.
He also added that Reddit corporate team refused to compromise on all the points raised by him.
Talklitte raised three concerns. First, was that third-party app developers like Apollo and Rif is fun were not making the amount of money they would have to pay the company. Second, the new API policy blocked ads in third-party apps which effectively stopped the major source of revenue for these developers, and third, removing NSFW (not safe for work) content from third-party apps would act as a deterrent to users wanting to access third-party apps.
Users react to Rif is fun's announcement
One user commented, “RIF is far and away the most used app on my phone. I paid for the premium edition so long ago and it's the best app purchase I've ever made. To say it will be missed is such an understatement”.
Another user stated that this would stop them from using Reddit on mobile entirely. They said, “This pretty much solidifies that I won't be using reddit on mobile at all anymore. This app is the only way I was able to tolerate mobile viewing. Ty for the years of service”.
“I never thought that this one app that I downloaded in high school to read rage comics would stick with me for my entire adult life thus far. RIF is a masterclass in simple yet elegant design, and it's heartbreaking to see it go out like this,” said a user.
It should be noted that there are other third-party apps such as ReddPlanet and Sync, which too will shut down by June 30.