An update on Patreon’s API

Dear Patreon Developer Community —

Over the past few months, we’ve heard creators and developers express that we haven’t been supporting our API as best we can. We want to be transparent and honest about our plans going forward. The news right now is that due to resource constraints, we can no longer actively maintain the Developer API with Patreon engineering resources. All endpoints will function as normal, however this means there won’t be new versions, ongoing maintenance, or updates. Any resources dedicated to the API will be for fixing critical issues affecting uptime.

This doesn’t mean the API won’t work and developers tap into unmaintained API’s quite frequently, but we want to make sure you make informed decisions based on our transparent plans for the future. The last thing we want is for folks expecting to get assistance from us and being disappointed.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be migrating our developer forum over to our main Patreon Community Forum. We’ll be able to keep the threads in developer forum and this is our official community forum with a lot more participation from both creators and the Patreon team. On the main forum, you’ll continue to have access to peer to peer support from other developers as well as resources available to help you run your membership. We’ll keep you updated on the timing and details of this migration.

We hope to be able to return to active support and continued updates to the API in the future, but for now it will remain intact but in a unmaintained state.

Patreon Team

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Thanks for the update. I’m happy as long as the API keeps working the way it’s been working. My web site and creator account depend on the Patreon API, and the worst thing would be if parts of the API (webhooks, endpoints, OAuth, etc.) stopped functioning. I hope “fixing critical issues” would include anything required to maintain the status quo.

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Ok, that does give me a bit more confidence not to rip my site apart! :sweat_smile:
I hope it will come back into maintenance in the future. For now, I will just stick to not messing with anything else, so I don’t mess anything up.

Thanks for the update!

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So I suppose that we’ll also not be able to request data access to other creators? I was thinking of probably making a Patreon<->Discord integration (yes, one exists but it’s quite janky)

@brianmcf I want to reiterate the business importance of this feature to every creator who has an external websites. We NEED a reliable and fast API. I can understand if not every feature makes it into the API, but the essentials of payment processing/status info is a critical feature that we need to be able to absolutely rely on.

The API is of paramount importance to every creator with an external website.

If this functionality stops working, or goes back to the state it was a couple years ago where it took an extra 17 days into the month to get the API data updated, any project that has an external website is just not going to be able to rely on Patreon for payment processing.

Even at a small number of patrons, doing things by hand is cumbersome, slow, and error prone. Manually exporting CSVs is NOT a usable workaround, since decline recharges happen at various times during the month (not to mention CUF projects). I can’t even imagine how this will affect larger projects with thousands of backers.

More than any other single controversial change, letting the API slide into an unreliable state will push your largest projects to different payment processors. A fancy mobile app is a nice to have feature, but we don’t depend on it. We do depend on reliable data so we can give our patrons a good customer experience.

Sidenote - Why am I only finding out about this by browsing another thread in this forum? This announcement should have been pushed via e-mail to every project who has an API key. You are not hearing the full pushback of everyone this affects because they simply don’t know.

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“All endpoints will function as normal, however this means there won’t be new versions, ongoing maintenance, or updates. Any resources dedicated to the API will be for fixing critical issues affecting uptime. […] but we want to make sure you make informed decisions based on our transparent plans for the future.”

A statement about no longer actively maintaining the Developer API is not transparent planning. Without a clear, transparent understanding of the Patreon platform’s road map, Creator-developers are being put in the unknown when it comes to what to expect.

While assurances the current endpoints will remain functional, we do not know how things will change in the future (i.e., the possibility of annual subscriptions and other future features) as well as if there are changes (such as to the Patron Manager) that will impact the data available through these endpoints down the road. Considering the great issues we experienced with API v1, many fear a degradation back to a historically unstable and limited functioning API with no roadmap for guidance and no assurance of a better future for independent development.

I understand that as Creators there isn’t much we can do to prevent this since it’s tied to Patreon’s difficulties and cost cutting to continue survival; however, we need much more transparency than provided to better take control of our outside development in a meaningful way that allows us to continually and reliably integrate with Patreon without worrying about future obsolescence or instability, short of exiting the platform for those entirely reliant on the API for their projects.

These “transparent plans” are not transparent beyond “we don’t maintain the Developer API” and that is not enough for us. If your answer is to simply go back to reviewing or exporting CSV and other data from our account manually, as SkyCorp pointed out, this is insufficient because many of us created or purchased solutions reliant on more advanced integrations so that we could expand the scope of our projects and work with the data in outside mediums like websites, programs, platform bots (like Discord, Twitch, etc.) and other advanced platform integrations.

Many of us are not in a position to abandon our own roadmaps to be forced back into Patreon’s platform alone to properly utilize its features due to degradation of the stability or usefulness of the API as new and updated features roll out that change how API data is used and handled. If you want to be transparent to developers, the right thing to do in the least would be to release Patreon’s development roadmap pointing out all existing and new features that will impact the API’s usability in these specific features when pushed so that those reliant on a maintained API for our use of Patreon can appropriately prepare.

Thank you.

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Here’s already one real-world problem with no API support: once multiple currency payments come online to everyone (which based on the e-mail I got, looks to be quite soon), what will fields like total_historical_amount_cents come through as? Hopefully the USD amount in cents as before, but with no one supporting the API, we can’t even ask anyone to find out. Our only solution is to wait and find out and try to troubleshoot through it. It’s super frustrating.

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My Patreon API stopped working suddenly. It was fine yesterday. I don’t know what changed on it?

Wood Textures

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