Searches Rise For A Reddit Alternative Since API Charges Increased

Data released Tuesday reveals that nationwide Google searches around an alternative to Reddit have risen by 127% since the platform blackout started.

The findings, compiled by web-hosting experts at Hostinger, also found some states are more anxious for the shutdown to end than others. And some users are considering leaving the app and selling their account.

Thousands of Reddit communities went dark last week in protest of new developer fees that the company announced in May. More than 8,000 subreddits went dark or in read-only mode after Reddit increased some API fees from free to paid.

On May 31, the company said it would begin charging for calls made to its API. The organizers of the protest believed charging for an API call would “kill every third-party app on Reddit, from Apollo to Reddit is Fun to Narwhal to BaconReader."

In protest, some of the largest communities on Reddit were set to private -- not publicly available -- for 48 hours. Doing this not only restricted the content from being optimized to appear in search engines like Google and Bing, but Redditors hoped to put pressure on the company’s executives to reverse the decision to charge developers for access to the site.

Since the blackout came into effect on 13 June, searches around Reddit's competitors have steadily risen, as users become concerned about the long-term repercussions of the coordinated protest.

The protest, according to Hostinger, also caused issues around major outages across its desktop and mobile sites, with private subreddits blamed for the stability issues. 

Reddit is one of the top 10 most popular social-media platforms in the U.S., as 29.3% of adults use it, so it’s understandable that many are seeking a replacement after a week of disruption and uncertainty.   

At the middle of last week, searches for a Reddit alternative rose 69%, showing the biggest increase in the U.S. around interest in WebTorrent and Steemit, while 9GAG and 4Chan have also seen an increase.  

Now, according to Hostinger, the majority of interest is in Lemmy, a software for running self-hosted news aggregation and discussion forum, followed by Hive, which offers a similar post layout and user interface. Another platform that has seen an increase in interest includes Tildes.

Washington, California, Oregon, Colorado, and Vermont round out the top five states where users are showing interest in looking for a Reddit competitor. 

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