Proposed changes to Reddit API could mean the end of third-party apps like Apollo

Appleosophy | Proposed changes to Reddit API could mean the end of third-party apps like Apollo
apollo app

2023 seems to be the year for killing third-party social media apps. We saw this earlier this year with the end of third-party Twitter apps like Tweetbot, Twitterrific, Fenix, and others.

With recent proposed changes to the Reddit API, it has changed the overall cost of the API for developers that make and maintain third-party Reddit apps, such as Christian Selig’s Apollo.

Apollo is a popular Reddit app on Apple devices because of its simplistic user-interface and functionality in it to satisfy users, and make the overall app one of the best Reddit apps in the App Store.

Selig posted in the official Apollo subreddit today regarding these changes to the Reddit API.

“I’m deeply disappointed in this price. Reddit iterated that the price would be A) reasonable and based in reality, and B) they would not operate like Twitter. Twitter’s pricing was publicly ridiculed for its obscene price of $42,000 for 50 million tweets. Reddit’s is still $12,000. For reference, I pay Imgur (a site similar to Reddit in user base and media) $166 for the same 50 million API calls.”

Selig also mentioned how the previously stated new Reddit API costs would be realistic but that may not be so, as well as went over stats of Reddit and Reddit Premium.

“As for the pricing, despite claims that it would be based in reality, it seems anything but. Less than 2 years ago they said they crossed $100M in quarterly revenue for the first time ever, if we assume despite the economic downturn that they’ve managed to do that every single quarter now, and for your best quarter, you’ve doubled it to $200M. Let’s also be generous and go far, far above industry estimates and say you made another $50M in Reddit Premium subscriptions. That’s $550M in revenue per year, let’s say an even $600M. In 2019, they said they hit 430 million monthly active users, and to also be generous, let’s say they haven’t added a single active user since then (if we do revenue-per-user calculations, the more users, the less revenue each user would contribute). So at generous estimates of $600M and 430M monthly active users, that’s $1.40 per user per year, or $0.12 monthly. These own numbers they’ve given are also seemingly inline with industry estimates as well…”

He then went on to talk about how these new costs would impact Apollo and himself personally.

“For Apollo, the average user uses 344 requests daily, or 10.6K monthly. With the proposed API pricing, the average user in Apollo would cost $2.50, which is is 20x higher than a generous estimate of what each users brings Reddit in revenue…While Reddit has been communicative and civil throughout this process with half a dozen phone calls back and forth that I thought went really well, I don’t see how this pricing is anything based in reality or remotely reasonable. I hope it goes without saying that I don’t have that kind of money or would even know how to charge it to a credit card.”

Selig stated that he would not completletly quit on Apollo and that keeping Apollo active is going to “require some thinking.”

On top of Apollo being impacted by these changes, it could also mean the end of other third-party apps like Comet for Reddit, ReddPlanet, and more.

Users do have the option to avoid these changes by using the official Reddit app in the App Store, and look into subscribing to Reddit Premium for more features.

What are your thoughts on this? Comment below or let us know on Twitter at @appleosophy.

David Becker
Author: David Becker

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