- Jan 8, 2011
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.
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.
(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.)