Home Business Reddit’s New API Pricing Poses a Major Challenge for Popular App, Potentially Resulting in a $20 Million Bill

Reddit’s New API Pricing Poses a Major Challenge for Popular App, Potentially Resulting in a $20 Million Bill

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In an attempt to monetize its API, Reddit has followed in the footsteps of Twitter and introduced a new pricing structure that threatens the existence of popular Reddit client Apollo. Developer Christian Selig recently announced that he might have to shut down the app due to the steep charges imposed by Reddit for API access.

Selig’s concerns stem from Reddit’s plan to charge $12,000 for every 50 million API requests. Considering that Apollo made 7 billion requests in the past month alone, the resulting bill would amount to $1.7 million for that period. Even if Selig were to adopt a subscription-only model and eliminate all free users, the new API pricing would still put him in a financial bind.

Selig broke down the costs, stating that the average Apollo user generates 344 requests daily, totaling around 10.6K per month. With Reddit’s pricing, this would amount to approximately $2.50 per user each month. Currently, Apollo Ultra, the app’s premium subscription tier, is priced at $1.49 per month or $12.99 per year. The $50 lifetime plan would likely no longer be feasible under these circumstances.

Reddit initially announced its plans to charge for API access in April, citing the need to prevent data scraping for AI language models without benefiting Reddit or its users. At that time, it seemed developers like Selig would be unaffected since they were enhancing the Reddit experience. However, the recent introduction of new API prices contradicts those earlier assurances.

Reddit’s decision to monetize its API echoes recent experiences faced by developers dealing with Twitter’s similar pricing issues. For Reddit, this move may be an attempt to diversify revenue streams as the company prepares for an IPO later this year.

The Reddit community, notably, has not responded well to the company’s actions. Selig’s post regarding the $20 million annual fee that would likely result in the demise of Apollo has become the top post on the website. Users express their discontent by stating that they would abandon Reddit altogether if this API pricing structure kills Apollo and other third-party apps.

As of now, Selig’s post has garnered over 124,000 upvotes and 11,300 comments.

“Bye Bye Reddit then,” expressed a Redditor, with the comment receiving numerous upvotes. “Without third-party apps, I’ll abandon Reddit like I abandoned Twitter.”

“It’s been a good run folks,” replied another user.

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