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Alarm Bells Ring for Third-Party Reddit Apps Amid API Pricing Overhaul

API pricing changes spark concerns of sustainability for third-party Reddit app developers.

Reddit's API Overhaul: A Threat to Third-Party Apps

The atmosphere is electric with uncertainty in the Reddit app landscape as concerns over impending API pricing changes become increasingly palpable. Christian Selig, the ingenious mind behind Apollo, a well-liked iOS Reddit client, lit the fuse on this bombshell through a social network post, raising concerns about the new pricing putting his business in jeopardy.

Reddit's silence on the official pricing of the new plans has left developers in the dark. However, Selig, having conversed with the Reddit team, reported an eye-watering $12,000 charge per 50 million requests—a cost that could potentially cripple Apollo, which registered 7 billion requests in the previous month alone.

Echoing this sentiment, Narwhal's developer shared similar apprehensions, predicting an unsustainable yearly bill of approximately $1-2 million based on these prices. Furthermore, the developer of "Reddit is Fun" added that while costs may vary, they would likely remain astronomical, a particularly daunting prospect considering their app's limited earnings.

App creators such as those behind "Relay for Reddit" and "Infinity for Reddit" joined this chorus of disquiet, apprehensive about their apps' longevity. The new API rules, announced in April, deal another blow—prohibiting third-party apps from running ads or displaying NSFW content.

Outcries have surged on Twitter, with users drawing parallels between Reddit's actions and those of Elon Musk's platform, which resulted in the demise of third-party clients earlier this year.

While it appears Reddit's endgame with these API changes is to monetize its data, the platform insists it has no intentions of exterminating third-party clients. Instead, it professes a commitment to nurturing a safe and mutually beneficial developer ecosystem.

Despite Reddit's reassurances, discontent simmers among its user base, with some even contemplating a switch to alternative Reddit-like platforms.