The deservedly popular Reddit has never been known for its ease of use, and not all users are fans of the dedicated mobile app that has existed since 2016. The external developers who create alternative apps for the existing ones play a significant role in popularizing the platform, but in the future this will become even more difficult. Following Twitter, Reddit announced last month that it would make its API available to developers for a fee, and the first feedback and criticisms are now coming in.
Apollo, the most popular iOS Reddit client, has been around for almost eight years and has generated millions of downloads. According to developer Christian Selig, Reddit charges $12,000 for 50 million requests, which is much more than they expected. This is close to the pricing of the also expensive Twitter, which charges $42,000 to retrieve 50 million tweets. According to Selig, the pricing of the photo service Imgur may be the most realistic example so far, which also charges just $166 for 50 million API calls.
Based on estimates, funding the operation of Apollo, which is based on Reddit’s API, would cost the creators up to 20 million dollars per year, which seems unrealistically high to them.
Although Apollo and other third-party apps use Reddit data, they don’t display Reddit ads, so it costs Reddit money to distribute third-party apps, so it’s understandable that the service would undercut third parties. According to 2019 estimates, Reddit makes 30 cents per user per year, and at current API pricing, it would make about $2.50 per user per month, or $30 per year.
With this move, Reddit could torpedo the entire ecosystem of third-party apps, just like Twitter. The company changed its API policy in April to limit the number of API requests from third-party clients such as Apollo.
Source: HWSW Informatikai Hírmagazin by www.hwsw.hu.
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