Reddit is in shambles at the moment. At a time in which the vast majority of the user base is up at arms due to recent and highly controversial API changes, basically pricing out third-party app developers, the return of r/Place has only stoked the fire even more.
The community-driven canvas is a rare sighting on Reddit, this being the third time it has ever shown up in six years. Sadly, instead of bringing Redditors and their communities together to see how they would leave a mark on r/Place this time, it's only infuriating them even more.
You see, by charging to use the Reddit API, the website has essentially shut down very popular third-party apps that users preferred over the official one due to being more feature-rich. Some even offered accessibility options.
The likes of Apollo, Sync, BaconReader and Reddit is Fun are no more, a few more have gone the paid subscription route to keep themselves afloat. While Reddit CEO Steve Huffman confirmed accessibility-focused apps would be given an exemption, essentially keeping them free, the damage was already done.
What's even more ironic about r/Place coming online at a time in which Redditors will most likely use it to protest against recent changes, is that the platform itself is clearly aware of the sus timing.
The tag for this year's r/Place return is "right place, wrong time," alluding to the current state of things within Reddit. Adding to that, there are multiple stretched dates, which we can only assume were planned dates for r/Place's return.
Dates include April 20, May 4, June 15, June 23, and finally July 20. If you check out r/Place right now you'll be bombarded by picturesque images that required more work than you might imagine, but also, the occasional "f*ck Spez" tagline.
Spez, if you didn't know, is the username of Reddit CEO Steve Huffman. So the communities are not sugarcoating how they feel about the current situation which has been unfolding for the past few months.
At the time of writing, on top of the direct cuss words to the big man, a nice little banner reads "never forget what was stolen from us r/Save3rdPartyApps."
We'll see how the final mural in r/Place ends up looking, but we're sure it's not something the higher-ups will be proud of.
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