Several top Reddit apps including Apollo, rif, ReddPlanet, and Sync, all face a June 30th shutdown due to Reddit’s API pricing changes.
- Reddit’s controversial API pricing changes lead to the announced closure of Apollo, rif, ReddPlanet, and Sync on June 30th.
- The developers cite high expected costs, blockage of ads in third-party apps, and restrictive content policies as major pain points.
- The Reddit community plans a large-scale protest with more than 3,100 subreddits scheduled to go dark for 48 hours starting June 12th.
Reddit API Pricing Controversy Triggers Widespread App Shutdowns
The digital landscape is witnessing a seismic shift as a number of beloved Reddit apps including Apollo, rif (previously known as Reddit is Fun), ReddPlanet, and Sync announced their shutdown in response to Reddit’s new API pricing. The move follows a trend initiated by the Apollo app, all culminating in a synchronized closure scheduled for June 30th.
The Unraveling of the Reddit App Ecosystem
App developers have voiced out their discontent about Reddit’s new API pricing, citing it as the driving force behind their impending shutdown. Developer comments on the platform indicate that the move is, in part, a protest against what they see as Reddit’s unwillingness to negotiate on key issues. These include API costs, which are estimated to be as much as $20 million per year for Apollo, ad-blocking in third-party apps, and the removal of explicit content in third-party apps while leaving it accessible on Reddit’s official apps.
The developer of ReddPlanet stated the hurdles imposed by Reddit made the continuation of third-party apps untenable. They highlighted the unreasonable pricing structure, the suddenness of the changes, Reddit’s lack of responsiveness, and the unwillingness to compromise as stifling factors for third-party developers.
The Sync developer expressed regret about the closure, stating, “Working on this app has been a labor of love and my life for the past decade but with how things stand, I can’t see any other way.”
As the online community comes to grips with the new reality, a wave of outrage is sweeping across the Reddit userbase and developer community over these API changes. Critics argue that the pricing adjustments will be prohibitively expensive for developers. In response to these criticisms, Reddit announced that it would exempt accessibility-focused apps from the API changes following criticisms from the r/Blind subreddit.
From Reddit’s Favorite to Shutdown: The Apollo Story
Apollo, once a fan-favorite third-party Reddit app, is set to go dark at the end of the month due to these new API charges. Its developer, Christian Selig, revealed last week the cost challenges he’s been grappling with since Reddit’s decision to start charging third-party developers for API access. According to Selig, it’s clear that the new API model would cost him $20 million per year to keep Apollo running. Selig’s situation has further been complicated by the short 30-day timeframe given before the switch to the paid plans, which limits his ability to make significant changes to the app.
Another critical issue that unfolded during this saga is the alleged hostility Reddit showed towards Selig, who claims the Reddit CEO accused him of blackmailing the company. Despite these controversies, Selig regretted not being able to witness Apollo’s compatibility with Vision Pro, a future product release by Apple.
The Reddit Community Rises in Protest
In response to the sweeping app closures, the Reddit community is organizing a massive protest against Reddit’s API changes. Subreddits plan to “go dark” and temporarily shut down for a 48-hour period starting June 12. Currently, more than 3,100 subreddit communities, including some of the largest like r/aww, r/gaming, r/Music, r/Pics, and r/todayilearned, are set to participate in this digital demonstration.
As the countdown to the simultaneous shutdown of these Reddit apps commences, the coming days will undoubtedly bring more developments to this unfolding story. As it stands, the Reddit community seems determined to fight for the survival of their favorite third-party apps. Only time will tell what impact these digital protests will have on Reddit’s new API pricing policy.