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It appears that Reddit may be the next site to kill off (or substantially reduce) popular third-party clients, after Twitter’s decision to do so earlier this year. Christian Selig, an Apollo developer, provided information about what Reddit is claiming the revised API will cost in a new Reddit thread.
Over the past few years, Apollo has developed into one of the most functional and well-liked Reddit clients. But right now, things could go wrong for it. After speaking on the phone with the website several times about the price of its new API, independent developer Christian Selig revealed what he was up against on Reddit.
Following the company’s assurances to Christian that the new API price would be “reasonable and based in reality” and that Reddit “would not operate like Twitter,” it appears that the firm has changed its mind or has very different definitions of what “reasonable” and “based in reality” entail.
The new price, according to Reddit, would be $12,000 for every 50 million requests. Since Apollo makes around 7 billion queries each month, the cost of Apollo’s API access works out to around $1.7 million per month or $20 million per year.
Christian states that “Even if I only keep subscription users” those numbers would require doubling the membership cost of Apollo merely to break even, let alone generate any cash.
To put things in perspective, he shared 50 million API requests with Imgur for $166, $12,000 with Reddit, and $42,000 with Twitter.
Christian closes his open letter by saying:
I’m deeply disappointed in this price. Reddit iterated that the price would be A) reasonable and based in reality, and B) they would not operate like Twitter. Twitter’s pricing was publicly ridiculed for its obscene price of $42,000 for 50 million tweets. Reddit’s is still $12,000. For reference, I pay Imgur, a site similar to Reddit in userbase and media, $166 for the same 50 million API calls.
According to Christian, who has done further research, this shift will result in Reddit charging third-party developers roughly 20 times more for API calls than it currently charges native users.
Christian says in his open letter’s conclusion:
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.
Christian emphasizes that although he isn’t given up on Apollo just yet, the situation will “require some thinking.” Hopefully, a route to a resolution is available, but as of right now, Reddit has stated that the pricing for its API is not negotiable.