Due to Apollo’s announcement that it would close on June 30, 2023, the blooming ecosystem of third-party Reddit apps is likely to suffer a serious blow. Apollo is a popular app among users. Reddit’s new API pricing plans, which would charge Apollo an outrageous $20 million year and make its continuing operation unprofitable for an independent developer, directly influenced this choice. This action has had far-reaching effects, sparking extensive protests, reaction from the community, and worries about the future of third-party programmes on Reddit.
Credits: Tech Crunch
Reddit’s New API Pricing Plans:
In order to stop businesses from using its enormous online forum site to train their AI systems, Reddit initially announced its intention to modify the cost of its API. Reddit insisted that its goal was not to “kill” third-party apps, but the significant price hikes brought on by the new API pricing plans cast doubt on the future viability of these applications.
Apollo’s Unsustainable Situation:
The creator of Apollo, Christian Selig, was one of the first to call attention to the negative effects of Reddit’s new API price. Under the revised rules, Apollo would continue to run at a considerable loss even if it switched to a subscription-only business model. Given that it received an astounding 7 billion requests in the previous month alone, Apollo was under extreme financial strain, as seen by the record-breaking cost of $12,000 for 50 million inquiries. Selig came to the conclusion that Apollo’s continued operation as a corporation was impossible given Reddit’s pricing needs, which came to $20 million annually.
Backlash and Community Protests:
Angry and dissatisfaction have been the defining characteristics of the Reddit community’s response to the API fee increases. On June 12, many Reddit communities, including some of the biggest ones like r/aww, r/videos, r/Futurology, and r/gaming, intend to protest by going dark. The message to Reddit’s leadership is clear: the community is united against these changes with 2,740 subreddits agreeing to take part in this protest, representing a non-unique user base of over 1.31 billion.
Impact on Other Third-Party Apps:
Not all third-party applications are impacted by Reddit’s changes to its API price, including Apollo. Due to the new pricing structure, ReddPlanet and RIF (Reddit is Fun) have both announced their impending shutdown. Infinity for Reddit, in contrast, has launched a premium edition in an effort to maintain its app. The overall result of these closures and modifications is the demise of Reddit’s dynamic and diverse ecosystem of third-party apps.
Concerns and Clarifications:
Christian Selig has made an effort to respond to the issues and concerns that have been voiced in reaction to the aftermath from the API changes. He explains that, contrary to what Reddit alleged, Apollo does not engage in scraping and even made the server code open-source as evidence of compliance. Selig refutes Reddit’s claim that outside apps were unwilling to work with the firm, and he provides audio recordings to back up his argument. Although Apollo has the backing of the r/Blind community, it is still unable to be considered for the recently announced accessibility app exception.
The Legacy of Apollo:
The 2017 release of Apollo won over Reddit users’ hearts with its distinctive features and iOS-friendly design. Widespread praise was accorded to its programmable motions, media viewer, complete Markdown text editor, and user-focused features. With regular integration of new iOS capabilities, Selig aimed to produce a Reddit app that appeared to have been produced by Apple. Ironically, Apollo’s inclusion by Craig Federighi at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference and its suitability for the company’s new headset serve to emphasise the app’s importance and popularity.
Reddit’s beloved third-party app Apollo was shut down, symbolising the significant effects of the site’s new API pricing plans. The future of third-party apps on Reddit is uncertain because the annual cost of $20 million is prohibitive for independent developers. The backlash and protests from the community highlight the general unhappiness and worries about the platform’s trajectory. It’s unclear how Reddit will adapt and address the complaints of its users and developers while the platform’s ecosystem undergoes a big transition.