Apollo for Reddit is not the sole casualty of the company’s recent API pricing changes. Other Reddit apps are also succumbing to the same fate. rif is fun for Reddit (formerly known as Reddit is Fun), ReddPlanet, and Sync have all joined the ranks, announcing their impending shutdown on June 30th, coinciding with Apollo’s closure.
rif is fun for Reddit has announced its impending shutdown as a direct response to Reddit Inc’s API changes and what its developer describes as the company’s unfavorable treatment of developers within their platform. In a message shared on r/redditisfun, the developer expressed disappointment in Reddit’s refusal to find common ground on various issues, including the anticipated expenses, similar to Apollo’s projected $20 million per year. Additionally, Reddit’s decision to block ads in third-party apps and the removal of sexually explicit content in such apps, despite its continued availability in Reddit’s official apps, were mentioned as points of contention.
The developer of ReddPlanet wrote, “The hurdles placed on third party apps by reddit just aren’t a feasible obstacle to overcome. With the removal of explicit content, the unreasonable pricing structure, short time period, lack of responsiveness, and unwillingness to come to a middle ground, reddit has shown that their intent is to extinguish all 3rd parties.” The developer of Sync wrote, “To be absolutely clear, I really don’t want to close Sync. Working on this app has been a labour of love and my life for the past decade but with how things stand I can’t see any other way.”
API Changes and Developer Backlash: The Reddit Community and Platform Under Scrutiny
The recent series of shutdowns among various Reddit apps directly responds to the widespread discontent expressed by the platform’s userbase and developer community regarding the API changes implemented by Reddit. These changes have raised concerns about the potentially exorbitant costs developers would incur. Christian Selig, the developer behind Apollo, openly shared his anticipated expenses of $20 million, shedding light on the financial challenges posed by these changes. In a comprehensive post discussing the impending shutdown, Selig reiterated the high costs and challenged Reddit’s assertion that Apollo is less efficient in utilizing the API than other apps.
Selig included a portion of a transcript from a call with Reddit moderators. CEO Steve Huffman allegedly suggested that Apollo posed a threat to the company. However, Selig vehemently denied this claim, providing his transcript to support his position. By sharing this evidence, Selig aimed to clarify misunderstandings and assert that Apollo posed no real danger to Reddit.
Interestingly, in response to the mounting criticism, Reddit announced on Wednesday that it would make an exception for accessibility-focused apps, exempting them from the API changes. This decision came after receiving feedback and concerns from the r/Blind subreddit, highlighting the platform’s responsiveness to user communities and their specific needs.
Looking Ahead: Addressing Concerns and Navigating the Future of Reddit’s App Ecosystem
The shutdowns of popular Reddit apps and the underlying controversies surrounding the API changes underscore the intricate relationship between the platform, its developers, and its user base. It showcases the importance of open communication and collaboration in addressing concerns and finding mutually agreeable solutions. While these events have caused disruptions in the Reddit app ecosystem, they have also sparked discussions about the future of app development on the platform and the need for transparent policies that support developers’ sustainability while meeting the user community’s expectations.
Moving forward, it remains to be seen how Reddit will address the broader concerns raised by developers and users regarding API changes, costs, and the overall developer experience. The fate of these Reddit apps serves as a reminder of the delicate balance that must be struck to maintain a thriving ecosystem where both developers and users can benefit from the platform’s offerings.
Reddit has chosen not to provide a comment at this time. However, the company has announced its intention to conduct an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session with Huffman on Friday. The focus of the AMA will be on discussing the latest API updates, which will cover topics such as accessibility, mod bots, and third-party mod tools.