Popular Reddit Communities Support These App Developers In Prolonged Protest

What began as a planned two-day event for popular Reddit communities to protest planned changes that will put an end to popular Reddit apps has turned into an indefinite standoff between Reddit moderators and executives.

Hundreds of subreddits maintained private status beyond the end of the Reddit boycott and planned to do so indefinitely. A leaked memo from Reddit CEO Steve Huffman confirmed that the platform intends to proceed with plans to limit API access to paying customers.

The options discussed with Reddit app developers have left them with no other choice but to shut down tools that thousands of Redditors have benefited from for decades.

Meanwhile, Reddit reportedly could go public this year, valued at an estimated $15 billion, as Huffman maintains focused on profitability in the comments of a recent AMA.

Screenshot from Reddit, June 2023

The following are messages from the people behind some of the top Reddit apps offering insight into why they are being forced to shut down.

Monthly Cost For Reddit API Access: $2 Million

According to a post from Christian Selig, creator of Apollo for Reddit for iOS, with over 170k ratings in the App Store, access to the Reddit API would cost $2 million monthly.

The price they gave was $0.24 for 1,000 API calls. I quickly inputted this in my app, and saw that it was not far off Twitter’s outstandingly high API prices, at $12,000, and with my current usage would cost almost $2 million dollars per month, or over $20 million per year. That is not an exaggeration, that is just multiplying the 7 billion requests Apollo made last month by the price per request.

While Selig appreciates the support of subreddits boycotting the API changes, Apollo plans to shut down on June 30.

Rumored discussions between the popular app developer and Reddit led to one of Huffman’s most downvoted comments on Reddit on the API changes.

Screenshot from Reddit, June 2023

API Changes Block App Developers From Earning Ad Revenue

In addition to paying for access to the Reddit API, app developers would lose the opportunity to generate ad revenue within their apps.

A post from the Reddit is Fun (RIF) app about its impending demise, with over 445k ratings in the Play Store, explains this.

As part of this they are blocking ads in third-party apps, which make up the majority of RIF’s revenue. So they want to force a paid subscription model onto RIF’s users. Meanwhile Reddit’s official app still continues to make the vast majority of its money from ads.

Huffman acknowledged RIF and Apollo as popular apps shutting down in the memo leaked by Verge.

While the two biggest third-party apps, Apollo and RIF, along with a couple others, have said they plan to shut down at the end of the month, we are still in conversation with some of the others.

RIF also thanked Redditors for their support during the Reddit boycott. Long-time users expressed their thanks and sadness.

Been using this app for 10 years. Can’t believe it’s coming to an end. Back then, there was no official reddit app (actually thought this was the official one at first), but even when reddit did release their app, I never even thought about switching, cause this app is literally perfect.

Thank you to everyone who was involved in creating this wonderful app.

No More Free Reddit Apps

Apps like Relay for Reddit for Android, with over 72k ratings in the Play Store, will no longer be able to offer a free version for users.

TLDR – There’s no possibility to continue the free version of Relay; a monthly subscription price of $3 (or less) might be achievable.

The Future Of Reddit Remains Unclear

Unlike other social networks, Reddit is known for its strong community. Reddit app developers have the support of their users and the moderators of thousands of subreddits.

How long will hundreds of popular Reddit communities remain private? And how will a prolonged Reddit boycott affect Reddit’s organic search traffic and ad revenue? We will monitor the data and keep you updated.

Screenshot from Semrush, June 2023

Featured image: Ira Lichi/Shutterstock