Reddit will start charging large companies for access to its data as it is being used to train some of the artificial intelligence chatbots including Google’s Bard and OpenAI’s ChatGPT, as per a report in Fortune Magazine.
The company shared a press release and stated that they would introduce “a new premium access point for third parties who require additional capabilities, higher usage limits, and broader usage rights.”
Further, they said that their API, which essentially governs how two different programs work with each other, will still be “open for reasonable and appropriate use cases and accessible via our Developer Platform”.
“Effective June 19, 2023, our updated Data API Terms, together with our Developer Terms, will replace the existing API terms,” said the company.
The company also declined to elaborate on its decision to make the shift, but Reddit CEO Steve Huffman told the New York Times that artificial intelligence (AI) is to blame. “The Reddit corpus of data is really valuable. But we don’t need to give all of that value to some of the largest companies in the world for free,” Mr Huffman told the outlet.
Reddit thinks its data is especially important because it is updated frequently. Large language Modelling algorithms, according to Mr Huffman, require this newness and relevance in order to produce the greatest results.
“More than any other place on the internet, Reddit is a home for authentic conversation. There’s a lot of stuff on the site that you’d only ever say in therapy, or A.A., or never at all.”
He added that the company wishes to offer value to the consumers. “Crawling Reddit, generating value and not returning any of that value to our users is something we have a problem with. It’s a good time for us to tighten things up. We think that’s fair,” he added
As per Fortune, users who were worried about the effects of the changes on third-party programmes that display the website’s content commented on Reddit’s announcement. The company said that it will also include a limit on access to “mature content” posted on the platform.
According to Mr Huffman’s statement to NYT, Reddit will continue to grant free access to developers who are enhancing the user experience on the website, for example, by creating an automated programme to help with moderating. He also promised free access to researchers that use Reddit data.