Serious Discussion Reddit may close down all third-party apps — Apollo app developer

Ink

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Hey all,

I'll cut to the chase: 50 million requests costs $12,000, a figure far more than I ever could have imagined.

Apollo made 7 billion requests last month, which would put it at about 1.7 million dollars per month, or 20 million US dollars per year.

[…]
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For Apollo, the average user uses 344 requests daily, or 10.6K monthly. With the proposed API pricing, the average user in Apollo would cost $2.50, which is is 20x higher than a generous estimate of what each users brings Reddit in revenue.

While Reddit has been communicative and civil throughout this process with half a dozen phone calls back and forth that I thought went really well, I don't see how this pricing is anything based in reality or remotely reasonable. I hope it goes without saying that I don't have that kind of money or would even know how to charge it to a credit card.

This is going to require some thinking. I asked Reddit if they were flexible on this pricing or not, and they stated that it's their understanding that no, this will be the pricing, and I'm free to post the details of the call if I wish.

- Christian
(For the uninitiated wondering "what the heck is an API anyway and why is this so important?" it's just a fancy term for a way to access a site's information ("Application Programming Interface"). As an analogy, think of Reddit having a bouncer, and since day one that bouncer has been friendly, where if you ask "Hey, can you list out the comments for me for post X?" the bouncer would happily respond with what you requested, provided you didn't ask so often that it was silly. That's the Reddit API: I ask Reddit/the bouncer for some data, and it provides it so I can display it in my app for users. The proposed changes mean the bouncer will still exist, but now ask an exorbitant amount per question.)
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Reddit to go dark on June 12, subreddits protest against probable death of third-party apps
Digital protest against Reddit's API pricing is heating up after a third-party developer claimed the API access costs might leave their app unaffordable. According to a post circulating across the platform, various subreddits will go dark on June 12 aka switch themselves to private mode and only remain accessible to current members.

Some subreddits will return after a period of 48 hours, while "others will go away permanently unless the issue is adequately addressed," the post reads. There is a growing list of subreddits taking part in the proposed blackout, including r/aww, r/LifeProTips, and r/videos, which have more than 20 million users.
 

mlnevese

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Even if it goes out as planned, I don't think they will change their minds... any place we can get statistics on how many users use 3rd party apps to access Reddit... one that doesn't ask for US$ 20 million to access the data, I mean...
 

enaph

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Popular third-party Reddit app Apollo will be shutting down as of June 30, Apollo developer Christian Selig announced today. The news comes after Reddit decided to start requiring developers to pay an unreasonable amount to access its API.
Selig said in late May that Reddit is charging $12,000 for 50 million requests, and given the number of people that use Apollo, that would result in a $20 million per year charge that is unfeasible for Selig to pay.


 

brambedkar59

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Very sad it happens like Twitter :( imagine cant live without the best third-party apps


also please move @brambedkar59 to MT Jail for at least two weeks for reacting ''Applause"
Weird, I didn't got any notifications for that. Applause was for OP for posting the news not for the news itself, which is sad because this change affects all of us who uses reddit not just the 3rd party apps.

Also reddit CEO had a bad day when he did a AMA on reddit. He is taking talking about Apollo dev here.


Apollo dev called him out by asking proof from him for his accusations.
 
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CyberTech

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Despite site-stopping protests by mods and users, Reddit leadership chose to brute force its way through any reasonable way of continuing third-party app support. Instead, the company hopes its luxury-priced API will be its secret shortcut to an overvalued IPO. As a result, Reddit’s official iOS app is being torpedo’d in the App Store.

The final days of Apollo may be upon us, but the ramifications of Reddit’s disdain for its users are here to stay. Look no further than App Store reviews to see the results. As TechCrunch reports, data from Sensor Tower shows how Reddit is sealing its fate as a 1-star reviewed app.

The data shared with TechCrunch shows that nearly 91% of Reddit’s U.S. iOS reviews carried a 1-star rating during the initial phase of the protest between June 12–14, compared to about 53% in the previous two months until May.
There has been some ratings improvement lately as the 1-star reviews of the Reddit U.S. iOS app dropped to about 86% between June 15–26, Sensor Tower’s data shows.
 

CyberTech

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Popular third-party Reddit app Apollo was updated today with an option for users to decline a refund for their remaining subscription time ahead of the app shutting down. Users who do not exercise this option will automatically receive a pro-rated refund.

"If you've been happy with the service I've provided over the years, please consider declining the refund as they are refunded out-of-pocket," said Apollo developer Christian Selig, who previously estimated that the refunds could cost him around $250,000. "It's been the pleasure of a lifetime building Apollo for you over the last nine years. I thank you so much for your kindness, input, and generosity over the years."

Starting on July 1, Reddit plans to begin charging for its main API, which provides third-party apps like Apollo with access to the website's data, like posts and comments. Selig said it is understandable for Reddit to begin charging for the API, but he said the pricing is prohibitively expensive and that he was given minimal time to prepare for the change. For these reasons, Apollo is shutting down and will stop working on June 30.

"Reddit recently announced some very, very expensive API prices for developers, and in combination with only providing 30 days to enact the changes, Apollo won't be able to afford continuing beyond Reddit's cutoff date," said Selig.

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MuzzMelbourne

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What Reddit is doing is a practice the banking industry has been engaged in for decades...

Its called 'shedding'...

The entity imposes a new and usually costly conditions of service in order to 'shed' itself of unprofitable users, which in the banking industry equates to low balance accounts, only to resume normal conditions of service in the future.

I would argue that while Reddit is certainly in the process of making itself more attractive to potential investors for their IPO, things will return to basically what are now in regards to API charges with a probable inclusion/expansion of advertising revenue.

I would suggest people like apollo 'watch this space' for a while.
 
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CyberTech

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The public deadline for the Reddit API changes is July 1. Popular third-party client Apollo is one of the casualties, and just released its swan song update asking users to decline a refund on their outstanding subscriptions. Many other clients are also shuttering in two days time, with API usage costs set to skyrocket.

However, the developer of popular third-party client Narwhal Rick Harrison posted a surprise announcement that goes against the trend, saying that Narwhal will be able to continue operating (after originally stating that it would have to close down). A major new version, Narwhal 2, is also apparently coming soon and will be funded exclusively by a subscription pricing model.

For most third-party apps, they are basically forced to close down as they face impending short-term costs with no buffer zone to transition users to a different business model.

For instance, Apollo developer Christian Selig previously said that he faced $50,000/month in fees from next month, and that it would be cheaper for him to close down the app altogether and refund existing paid users. If Reddit had given him more than 30 days to transition existing users to a new pricing structure, it is possible a solution could have been found to keep the app going.

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