Reddit Threatens Shutdown of Apollo and Third-Party Clients, Demands $20M Annual API Fee

In a similar fashion to Twitter’s recent actions, Reddit seems poised to eliminate or severely restrict the use of popular third-party clients. Christian Selig, the developer behind Apollo, a highly regarded Reddit client, took to Reddit to shed light on the challenges he faces due to the platform’s updated API costs.

Apollo has gained significant popularity and acclaim as one of the most feature-rich Reddit clients in recent years. However, its future now hangs in the balance. Christian Selig shared the specifics of his predicament on Reddit, recounting multiple phone conversations with Reddit’s team regarding the exorbitant price of their updated API.

Despite Reddit’s initial reassurances to Christian Selig, the developer of Apollo, that their new API pricing would be reasonable, it appears that the platform’s definition of “reasonable” differs significantly from his. In a surprising turn of events, Reddit disclosed that the updated API would cost $12,000 for every 50 million requests.

Apollo and Third-Party Clients Grapple with Imposed Financial Burden

Considering that Apollo handles approximately 7 billion requests monthly, this translates to an astounding $1.7 million per month or a staggering $20 million per year for API access. Christian expressed his concern that even with retaining only subscription users, he would have to double the subscription cost of Apollo just to break even, with no guarantee of generating any profits.

This unexpected development has left Apollo and other third-party clients in a precarious position as they grapple with the immense financial burden imposed by Reddit’s revised API fees. The future of Apollo, a renowned Reddit client, hangs in the balance as Reddit demands a whopping $20 million per year for API access. With Apollo having processed a staggering 7 billion requests in the previous month alone, this translates to an exorbitant cost of approximately $1.7 million per month.

Reddit Threatens Shutdown of Apollo and Third-Party Clients, Demands $20M Annual API Fee
Credits: Reddit

Even if Apollo were to retain only subscription users, each averaging 344 requests per day, the resulting expense would require doubling the current subscription fee. This means users would have to pay over $2.50 per month, more than twice the existing cost, just to cover the API access expenses.

The astronomical API fee proposed by Reddit places Apollo and its developer in a challenging financial situation. They now face the daunting task of finding a way to sustain the client’s operations while ensuring user satisfaction amidst these significant cost implications.

Significant Disparities in API Fees: Pricing  of Reddit Compared to Other Platforms

To further understand the gravity of the situation, Christian Selig, the developer behind Apollo, shed light on the significant disparities in API fees across various platforms. He revealed that for 50 million API calls, Imgur charges a mere $166, while Reddit’s demand stands at an astonishing $12,000. The contrast is even more striking when compared to Twitter, which imposes an astounding $42,000 for the same number of API calls.

Delving deeper into the details, Christian emphasized that Reddit’s proposed changes would burden third-party developers with approximately 20 times the cost incurred by native Reddit users for API calls. This staggering discrepancy raises concerns about fairness and equality among users and developers within the Reddit ecosystem.

Despite these challenging circumstances, Christian remains determined and has not given up on Apollo. However, he acknowledges that navigating this issue will require careful consideration and innovative thinking. While hope remains for finding a viable solution, Reddit has made it clear that they are unwilling to be flexible when it comes to API pricing.

The current scenario presents a significant hurdle for Apollo and other third-party developers, urging them to evaluate the feasibility of continuing their operations under the imposed financial constraints. The community now eagerly awaits a resolution that ensures a sustainable future for Apollo while preserving the vibrant and diverse ecosystem of Reddit clients.