Reddit API’s New Prices Cause Outrage Among Communities of Users and Apollo app

As of July 1, Reddit has announced a significant increase in prices for access to its API, following Twitter’s similar move in March. In protest, moderators of over 1,000 subreddits, including r/aww, r/Music, r/videos, and r/gaming, will temporarily shut down by setting their communities to “private” for 48 hours, starting on July 12.

Moderator BuckRowdy detailed in an open letter to the Reddit community and management how moderators and admins use mod tools and streamlined interfaces provided by third-party apps such as Apollo to efficiently manage their communities because Reddit’s official app, with its clunky UI, is inconvenient to use. Unfortunately, many users prefer third-party apps like Apollo to access and moderate Reddit content because Reddit’s own app lacks essential features for visually impaired iOS users. However, these third-party apps may soon become more expensive for developers due to API prices.

Reddit users argue that these price changes will negatively affect Reddit by reducing the diversity of perspectives on the platform. Fastfinge, moderator of r/blind, says they may have to step down and close their 17-year-old account without third-party apps.

Popular apps such as Apollo, Reddit Is Fun, and Bacon Changer are considering discontinuing their services if the API prices go up. Apollo developer Christian Selig calls the change “bad news” for Apollo as the new rates indicate that 50 million API requests cost $12,000. Apollo’s API requests reached 7 billion requests last month, which means Selig may have to pay $20 million per year.

Reddit is sticking to its decision to enforce new API prices, stating that the company spends millions on hosting fees and needs fair payment to continue supporting high-usage third-party apps. However, after significant backlash from moderators, Reddit has announced a series of new mod tools from now until September to improve upon content density and allow for faster loading times.

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Reddit user YangWenli1 is skeptics of the new mod tools and tweeted, “Many of those mods are basic features that should have been present Day 1. It’s been five years since the official app was released. Instead of adding basic features during this time, you added NFTs. Get your priorities straight. This is exactly why I use Apollo.”

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