Reddit's new API pricing forces closure of popular third-party app Apollo and others
The widely-used third-party Reddit app, Apollo, has announced that it is shutting down on June 30, 2023.
Apollo, a widely used third-party app for Reddit, has announced that it will be shutting down on June 30, 2023, as a direct consequence of Reddit's recently announced changes in its API pricing, according to TechCrunch. The new pricing plans would require Apollo to pay a staggering $20 million annually to continue operating, an impossible cost for an independent developer. Christian Selig, the creator of Apollo, was one of the first to raise concerns about the impact of Reddit's new API pricing on third-party apps. Even if Apollo were to switch to a subscription-based model, it would still be unable to sustain itself under the new guidelines. The outcry from the app's user community has prompted a site-wide protest, with several major Reddit communities planning to go dark to express their discontent with Reddit's decision.
Reddit initially revealed its plans to revise API pricing to The New York Times, framing it as a measure to prevent companies from freely using Reddit's vast online forum as a resource for training their AI systems. While Reddit has claimed that the changes are not intended to eliminate third-party apps.
After discussions with Reddit, Selig decided that running the app would be financially unsustainable.
"To put it simply, 50 million requests would cost $12,000, a figure far beyond anything I could have imagined," Selig stated on the Apollo app's subreddit last week. "Apollo had 7 billion requests last month, which would amount to approximately $1.7 million per month or $20 million per year. I am deeply disappointed by this pricing, as Reddit had promised it would be fair and not resemble Twitter's model."
Under new ownership by Elon Musk, Twitter's API price hikes led to the demise of numerous smaller projects, startups, helpful bots, and third-party clients. Even researchers and academics were affected, resulting in severe criticism of Twitter for prioritising greed over its developer community.
The Reddit community is now witnessing a similar trend on its platform, which has sparked anger and frustration. In protest against these changes, several subreddits are organizing a blackout on June 12. These communities collectively have millions of subscribers, and a total of 2,740 subreddits, encompassing over 1.31 billion users.
Today, Selig announced the permanent closure of Apollo, as the app no longer has a viable future under Reddit's new pricing structure.