Renowned Reddit App Apollo Might Close its Doors due to Reddit’s New, Prohibitive API Pricing

One of the most popular third-party mobile apps for accessing Reddit, Apollo, may have to cease operations as a result of Reddit’s recently disclosed stricter API payment limits. According to app creator Christian Selig, who stated today that it will now cost him $20 million per year to maintain Apollo’s company as it is, Reddit’s API fee appears to be bad news for the future of third-party Reddit apps. Customers are already becoming more outraged over Reddit’s conditions in light of the revelation due to Apollo’s long history of extensive app updates, iOS-friendly design, and all-around usefulness, which has made the app a well-liked substitute for Reddit’s official client.

Reddit has previously assured developers that those who were building apps to assist consumers use Reddit would not be impacted by the changes to API pricing, thus the news came as a surprise. The move was presented instead as a way to stop companies from using Reddit’s sizable internet forum site as free training data for their AI systems. In essence, Reddit wanted to be paid for its “corpus of data,” according to an interview with founder and CEO Steve Huffman that was printed in The New York Times.

In his comments, he said that Reddit users who wanted to create apps and bots for scholarly or charitable causes would not be charged for the API. (Those familiar with Reddit’s API strategy told us that those comments were misunderstood; they were meant to refer to developers producing items on Reddit, not off Reddit, like Apollo.)

Selig contends that won’t actually be the case.

According to phone conversations the developer has had with Reddit, 50 million queries will now cost $12,000 under the terms of the new API, the

developer wrote in a Reddit post, “a sum far greater than I ever could have anticipated.”

 apollo app image
Image Source : Apollo app image by Tech On Tips

Selig claims that “Apollo made 7 billion requests last month, which is roughly 1.7 million dollars per month, or 20 million US dollars per year.”

The programme’s creator went on to say that restricting access to it to paying customers in an effort to reduce the number of queries would also not be a viable solution because the typical Apollo user makes 344 requests per day, on average costing $2.50 per month. Such a sum, in Selig’s estimation, is more than twice as much as the subscription’s current price.

The developer of Apollo had numerous conversations with Reddit employees to fix these pricing issues, and although he defined those exchanges as friendly and open, he highlighted that he is “very dissatisfied” with the results. He claims that he is sharing the specifics of the call on Reddit and other social media platforms since the company gave him permission to do so.

Reddit’s increased API costs would appear to be forcing Apollo out of business.

According to Selig, Apollo currently has between 1.3 million and 1.5 million monthly active users and about 900,000 daily active users. As of the time of this writing, Apollo has had around 5 million global installs, based on estimates from the app intelligence firm Despite his inability to divulge specific figures regarding Apollo’s earnings, Selig asserts, “It’s not even in the realm of possible or near to what Reddit is charging.”

But said differently, Selig lamented, “Even if I kicked off every user aside from those who pay a subscription, I would still be in the red every month.” Because he didn’t expect to receive this kind of news, he continues by saying that he has no backup plans.

Reddit’s decision to overcharge for API access follows a similar decision made by Twitter. In the end, the latter restricted access to Twitter’s developer tools for a substantial percentage of the third-party developer community. As a result, a lot of Twitter clients, apps, and services have since stopped working or moved their priorities to focus on other things, such supporting Mastodon, an open source rival to Twitter.

A new $5,000/month API tier was recently introduced by Twitter in an effort to make access a little more affordable. For the first time, the business has scaled back somewhat on its expensive prices. The new tier fills the financial gap between the $100 monthly cost of the basic tier and the $42,000 monthly cost of the enterprise tier, but it is still too expensive for smaller businesses to adopt, costing them an additional $60,000 each year.

Let’s just say I was a fan of Apollo when it first appeared on the App Store in 2017. The software provided a unique experience at the time thanks to features like configurable gestures, a media viewer, a full Markdown text editor, and other features influenced by Reddit user feedback. Over time, Apollo users have praised the app’s power user features, customizability, and iOS-friendly design. Selig asserted that his intention was to provide Reddit software that appeared to have been produced by Apple.

tech on tips-reddit app apollo

As seen, for instance, by the developer’s most recent version of Lock Screen widgets for iOS 16, new iOS capabilities were added to the app quickly. Selig found some pleasure in the iPhone’s most recent “Dynamic Island” user interface overhaul, which turned the pill-shaped notch on the top of the iPhone 14 Pro into a tappable and interactive feature for alerts. Ingenious “Pixel Pals,” or pets that were similar to Tamagotchi, that could move around on the notch, were made by him. The pets soon received their own mobile application due to how well-liked they were.

A few hours ago, Selig made a Reddit post about Apollo’s future, and since then, it has received 8.6K upvotes and counting. Fans of the app are understandably incensed by this news; they blame Reddit of being avaricious, threaten to leave, and swear to support Selig’s future endeavours if this really is the end of their cherished programme.

Reddit user Tim Rathschmidt stated the following when contacted for comment:

None of the third-party apps are supposed to be “killed” by this. In the six weeks that have followed our initial notification regarding API changes, we have communicated with developers and third-party apps, including Apollo. Regarding independent apps, we remain steadfast in our view. A safe and moral development community for Reddit is something we’re committed to building. While simultaneously preserving the privacy of our users and their personal data, developers and third-party apps may enhance Reddit through a mutually beneficial and lasting partnership.

We have a duty to our communities to manage data properly in terms of security and privacy since widespread data access has costs and implications.

When accessing Reddit data for commercial reasons, you must adhere to the new API terms of service and the premium access programme. We’ve had a policy outlining commercial and non-commercial use in our terms for a while, but regretfully some of those agreements weren’t followed. As a result, we amended our regulations and got in touch with a small number of carefully chosen companies to work with them on compliance and a paid premium access tier.

On 5/31/23, 5:56 PM EST, the article was updated with a Reddit statement.

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