Reddit’s Million-Dollar Dilemma: The $20 Million Quandary for App Developers


The popular iOS Reddit app Apollo could be hit with a hefty fee as a result of Reddit’s new paid API approach, which has the Reddit community on edge. Developer Christian Selig estimates that Apollo might charge Reddit $20 million annually if it maintains its present level of operation.

Reddit’s policy modifications from April, which let the website set limits on the number of API queries performed by outside clients like Apollo, are to blame for this scenario. Reddit plans to charge roughly $12,000 for each 50 million API requests, to put things in perspective. The startling expense of $1.7 million per month or $20 million per year to sustain Apollo’s current rate, which saw a stunning 7 billion API queries in the previous month, is what this entails. Apollo wouldn’t make enough money to turn a profit even if it limited API access to paying subscribers. While an Apollo Ultra subscription costs $1.49 per month or $12.99 annually, Selig notes that the “average Apollo user uses 344 requests per day, which would cost $2.50 per month.” Selig expresses his profound dissatisfaction with this price arrangement, describing it as unreal and unfair. He praises Reddit for trying to keep things peaceful and open throughout the process, but he expresses doubt about the viability of the charges, saying, “I don’t have that kind of money or would even know how to charge it to a credit card.”

The future of Apollo is still up in the air, and Selig is hoping that Reddit will pay attention to the suggestions made by the community and developers in order to find a solution that will satisfy everyone. This move, though, isn’t good for other independent Reddit apps like Rif and Relay, which might also have to pay comparable fees. Reddit’s head of consumer and product communications, Tim Rathschmidt, clarifies that the prices discussed with Apollo are for 1,000 API calls rather than a monthly fee. Reddit bases its price on usage thresholds that try to be as equitable as feasible.

They have also promised to help third party apps become more efficient in order to lower total costs. The issue is similar to previous Twitter API updates that required developers to pay membership fees, causing user disruptions and having an impact on accounts that post alerts about public safety or transportation. Prior to its anticipated initial public offering (IPO), Reddit decided to monetise its API. Reddit, which relies on advertising revenue at the moment, may attract more investors with its IPO if it starts charging developers for API access. Reddit will also start charging AI businesses for using its platform to build sophisticated language models. Users who rely on third party programs like Apollo for improved Reddit experiences are concerned about this development.

The importance of third party clients in their Reddit experience has been highlighted by the several users who have stated their intention to abandon the platform if these apps stop working.

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