Weekly Buzz: Reddit Erupts in Protests over API Changes

It’s Friday and we’ve got a lot to chat about this week! 

Read on for all the digital marketing news you need to know, including the Reddit blackout, LGBTQ social media user safety across major platforms, changes to YouTube’s monetization program, Instagram’s Music Notes, Friday fun, and more.

The Reddit blackout: protests to API changes explained

This week Reddit made a lot of headlines following the platform’s decision to increase fees for API access. In response, thousands of Reddit forums went dark in protest, including several highly-popular subreddits with millions of users, like r/todayilearned and r/Funny

While the protest took place from June 12 to 14, some subreddits have opted to stay dark indefinitely. At the time of writing, over 6,500 subreddits have joined the protest.

According to Christian Selig, the Canadian developer of Reddit’s most popular third-party app, Apollo, the new changes would mean millions of dollars in fees for his company as a result of the new API model, and he’s not the only one. Selig says to avoid the charges, he will delete Apollo’s API token on June 30, the day before the new changes come into effect.

What does it all mean for the future of Reddit? Will the protests result in some kind of policy revision? Reddit’s CEO Steve Huffman says the company won’t be backing down

Twitter reigns as the most dangerous social platform for LGBTQ users

According to a new report from GLAAD, Twitter has earned the title of most unsafe major social media platform for LGBTQ people.

The assessment comes from the advocacy organization’s new 2023 Social Media Safety Index (SMSI), an annual analysis of LGBTQ user safety across the world’s largest social media platforms, including Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. 

The index considers several factors, including internal and explicit safety policies, in-house diversity, the prohibition of anti-LGBTQ advertisers, and more. As GLAAD explains, the index is “the industry’s first standard for tackling online anti-LGBTQ hate and increasing safety for LGBTQ social media users.”

All major platforms received failing grades as a result of the 2022 report, and unfortunately, things haven’t changed much in 2023. You can read the full report and resulting recommendations to make social media a safer space for LGBTQ users here.

GLAAD notes that: “while this report is focused on the five major social media platforms, we know that other companies and platforms — from Snapchat to Spotify, Amazon to Zoom — can benefit from these recommendations as well. We strongly urge these companies and others to make the safety of their LGBTQ customers and users an urgent priority, both in their policy development and in their policy enforcement.”

YouTube expands access to its monetization program

New changes to YouTube’s monetization program mean more creators will be eligible to make money on the platform. 

Previously, creators needed at least 1,000 subscribers and either 4,000 watch hours in the past year or 10 million Shorts views in the last 90 days to be eligible for the program.

Now, the conditions to quality for the partner program are as follows:

  • Having 500 subscribers;
  • 3 public uploads in the last 90 days;
  • And either 3,000 watch hours in the past year or 3 million Shorts views in the last 90 days.

The new eligibility criteria will be applied in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Taiwan, and South Korea to start, with other countries where YPP exists to follow later.

You can now share music on Instagram Notes

A new update will allow users to share music on Instagram Notes – a change that marks the first set of new features since Notes launched back in December 2022.

Currently, Instagram Notes allows users to leave a status message that appears for their Close Friends or mutual followers at the top of their inbox using text or emoji. The update will allow users to include a 30-second clip of a song, or a ‘Music Note’ as another way to express themselves. In addition to the sound clip, users can add a caption to a Music Note to share their thoughts.

According to Meta, Instagram Notes are meant to be used to start conversations with friends in a lighthearted way, but so far adoption has been lackluster.

Post, a Twitter alternative, launches on iOS

Post, a buzzy new app said to be “the next Twitter”, is now available for download in the iOS app store.

The app functions a lot like Twitter, but alongside ‘following’ and ‘explore’ feeds you’ll find another tab for ‘news.’

According to TechCrunch, the news tab shows a feed of new articles from Post’s publishing partners, including notable outlets like Reuters, the Los Angeles Times, Wired, Yahoo Finance, Fortune, Insider, NBC News and more. 

It’s free to see headlines and the beginning of the article, but to read the whole thing, users must make a microtransaction with “points” to read the rest of the article directly within the Post app. The number of points required to unlock an article varies depending on the outlet, and publishers receive 100% of revenue from these micropayments.

Are you one of the 40,000 users that have already joined Post?

Friday Fun

File this one under ‘yikes’, America!

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site