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[Discussion] Reddit's API Price Surge: An Uncertain Future for Apollo and Other Third-Party Apps

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In an unprecedented move that has left third-party app developers reeling, Reddit has revised its API pricing structure - a move that might spell calamity for beloved apps like Apollo. This shake-up is causing seismic tremors through the industry, particularly among developers who lean heavily on Reddit's API for their operations.

At the heart of this storm is Apollo, a popular Reddit reader app favored by millions of netizens. The app's creator, Christian Selig, recently shared his dismay on Reddit: "50 million requests now cost $12,000 - a sum that eclipses anything I had ever envisioned." Just last month, Apollo made an astronomical 7 billion requests, an activity that under the new pricing regime would translate into a staggering $1.7 million per month or a jaw-dropping $20.4 million per annum.

Laying out the hard numbers, Selig said, "For subscription-only users, the average Apollo user chalks up 344 requests daily, which would amount to $2.50 per month - that's over double the current subscription fee. In this scenario, I would bleed money every month." 

Expressing his profound disappointment, Selig compared Reddit's pricing to Twitter's, which had been lambasted for its hefty $42,000 price tag for 50 million tweets. With a sigh, he noted, "Reddit's rate is still $12,000. Meanwhile, for the same 50 million API calls, Imgur charges us a meager $166."

Apps like Apollo harness the power of Reddit's API to access and display posts and other data on their platforms, substituting Reddit's advertisements with their own. This switcheroo stings Reddit's ad revenue, a fact that some developers argue is the key driver behind Reddit's drastic pricing shift. 

The creator of RIF, another top-tier Reddit app, divulged that as part of the change, Reddit is banishing ads in third-party apps - a significant blow considering that these ads constitute the lion's share of RIF's revenue. He lamented, "It appears that they are trying to shoehorn a paid subscription model onto RIF's userbase. Meanwhile, Reddit's official app continues to rake in the big bucks predominantly from ads."

Moreover, whispers within the industry suggest that these API modifications will result in NSFW content being excised from third-party apps, while staying intact on Reddit's official app. 

Selig held steadfast in his belief that Reddit's new pricing structure is off-kilter. "I can't see how this pricing is remotely tethered to reality or reasonable," he avowed, adding, "Needless to say, I don't possess that kind of capital, nor do I have the faintest idea about how to charge it on a credit card."

The feasibility of such exorbitant API pricing for app developers in the future is now hanging in the balance. For Reddit users, it may be time to cozy up to Reddit’s default web interface... you know, just as a safety measure.

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