Social media platform Reddit, popular for its user-generated forums and content, has announced that it will begin charging companies for access to its application program interface (API).
Reddit launched in 2005 and has since collected a vast amount of human interactions and conversations. Eighteen years’ worth of conversations, to be precise, make it a valuable data bank for companies looking to train their AI models.
Reddit doesn’t want other companies to be able to train their LLMs with its data for free, and wants a slice of the pie. Big names like Google and OpenAI have been using Reddit to provide initial guidance to their AI services. In response, Reddit is now introducing a new premium access point for third parties to access Reddit’s APIs, with pricing expected to be split into tiers based on company size.
“Our Reddit Data API will still be open for reasonable and appropriate use cases and accessible via our Developer Platform, which is designed to help developers improve the core Reddit experience,” wrote Reddit in a blog post.
As AI continues to grow, more and more companies will be looking for access to valuable data sources like Reddit to train their models. The move to charge companies for API access is not unexpected, given the increasing demand for data to train these models. Further, rumours point to Reddit going public sometime this year, so introducing a new revenue stream makes sense for the company.