Reddit’s new API pricing will kill off Apollo on June 30

The Reddit app icon on a smartphone screen.
Enlarge / The Reddit iOS app icon.

Getty Photographs | Yuriko Nakao

If there was any doubt about Reddit’s hottest third-party app, Apollo, surviving the $20 million API invoice Reddit slapped it with final week, marvel no extra. Like most third-party apps, Apollo developer Christian Selig introduced Apollo would shut down on June 30. The information comes on the heels of a motion gaining help throughout Reddit, the place presently virtually 1,500 subreddits plan to “go darkish” on June 12 to protest the excessive API costs.

Selig writes, “June thirtieth will probably be Apollo’s final day. I’ve talked to lots of people, and are available to phrases with this over the past weeks as talks with Reddit have deteriorated to an unpleasant level.” Selig says that whereas charging some sum of money for Reddit’s API can be “comprehensible,” the developer says Reddit’s prices and timelines are simply an excessive amount of to beat and that “[i]t’s less expensive for me to easily shut down.” Selig says Apollo will proceed working till the tip of the month, when they’ll delete the API token.

It isn’t clear that Reddit needs third-party apps to outlive this pricing change, as we do not know of a single app that claims it will probably proceed beneath Reddit’s phrases. Selig says Reddit needs $12,000 for 50 million API requests, whereas Imgur, an analogous social media picture web site, expenses $166 for 50 million API calls. Selig says even when customers had been prepared to pay out of pocket for the API prices, Reddit introduced the brand new billing plan one month earlier than it might take impact, and Selig says that is simply not possible for builders.

“Going from a free API for 8 years to instantly incurring huge prices just isn’t one thing I can feasibly make work with solely 30 days,” Selig stated. “That is a number of customers emigrate, plans to create, issues to check, and to get by app overview, and it is simply not economically possible. It is less expensive for me to easily shut down.” Selig added, “much more than the massive value related to the API, the 30 day timeline between when the pricing was introduced and builders will probably be charged is a far, far, far larger problem and never one I can overcome.” Selig has requested for extra time to fulfill Reddit’s API calls for and has both been met with denial or silence.

One other concern is that some customers have already paid for annual Apollo plans beneath the previous, free API plan that might instantly begin incurring giant payments that may’t be accounted for. Even when Apollo wished to take the questionable path of voiding all pay as you go yearly plans, a number of these subscriptions are by Apple, and that is in opposition to the principles. Apollo and different apps will instantly be within the pink. Even now, Selig says providing pro-rated refunds to present customers goes to price “about $250,000.”

Apollo has hundreds of thousands of customers, together with some high-ranking individuals at Apple, the place Selig was once an intern. The app has an “Editor’s Alternative” award from the App Retailer and commonly will get shouted out at Apple’s WWDC. At this week’s present, Apollo was proven a number of occasions and bought a direct point out from Apple’s SVP of software program engineering, Craig Federighi. (Selig says these had been recorded earlier than the entire pricing scenario and weren’t a present of solidarity or something.) Apple even talked about Apollo as being appropriate with the upcoming Apple Imaginative and prescient Professional headset, however with the app shutting down on the finish of the month, that can by no means occur now.

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