The maker of Apollo, one of the most popular third-party mobile apps for browsing Reddit, may be forced to shut down its product due to Reddit’s recently announced new API pricing terms. App developer Christian Selig said that Reddit’s new API pricing is a nasty surprise for future third-party apps, as he will now have to pay around $20 million a year to continue the Apollo business.
Reddit aims to monetize its data
The news of the price increase for the Reddit API has drawn a backlash from users given the popularity of the Apollo app due to its updates, iOS design, and ease of use. According to Reddit founder and CEO Steve Huffman, Reddit has decided to start charging for access to its “data corpus” in order to protect the site from unwanted use by large companies that train artificial intelligence on public data.
Apollo and its developer under attack
While Reddit has stated that the API price increase will not affect developers who create apps for Reddit users, this promise does not apply to apps like Apollo. The developer shared that the new API terms mean that 50 million requests will now cost $12,000, well above expectations.
Consequences and hopelessness for Apollo
Application developer Apollo claims that the increase in the cost of API access will make his business unprofitable. Even if you restrict access to subscribers only, the average Apollo user will require more requests than they are willing to pay. The developer discussed options with Reddit, but expressed deep disappointment with the results.
Apollo: popularity and achievements
Apollo currently has around 1.3-1.5 million monthly active users and over 900,000 daily active users. Third-party estimates place the number of Apollo installations at around 5 million. Apollo users praised the customizability and user-friendly design of the iOS app. Despite this, the developer admits that even existing income does not allow him to cope with the new demands of Reddit.
Twitter analogy and closing thoughts
Reddit’s move to raise prices for API access is similar to Twitter’s move to cut off access to third-party developers, notes NIXsolutions. This has led to the closure or transition to other platforms of many Twitter applications and clients. Apollo also faced a similar situation. After appearing on the App Store in 2017, Apollo gained popularity for its features and design, but now its future is in jeopardy due to new Reddit terms.