The Apollo app that allows users to interact with Reddit on iOS could face millions in fines over Reddit’s new paid API model. This was reported by The Verge.
According to the developer of the application, Christian Selig, Reddit could charge Apollo about $20 million a year if it operates at its current scale.
The controversial situation arose after Reddit announced changes to its API policy in April. They impose a limit on the number of API requests made by third-party clients such as Apollo.
Christian Selig says Reddit plans to charge about $12,000 for 50 million requests. That means Apollo, which made 7 billion API requests last month, will have to pay $1.7 million a month to keep operating at its current pace.
The developer adds that even if it decided to keep only users with a paid subscription to the app, it still wouldn’t make enough money to turn a profit. The thing is, Apollo Ultra subscription costs $1.49 per month or $12.99 per year, and the average Apollo user makes 344 requests per day, which would cost $2.50 per month.
“I’m deeply disappointed in this price,” Selig writes. “While Reddit has been communicative and civil throughout this process with half a dozen phone calls back and forth that I thought went really well, I don’t see how this pricing is anything based in reality or remotely reasonable. I hope it goes without saying that I don’t have that kind of money or would even know how to charge it to a credit card.”
It is not yet known what awaits the popular application in the future. The developer hopes that Reddit will listen to the community’s feedback and the parties can reach an agreement that satisfies everyone.
For his part, Reddit’s director of consumer and product relations, Tim Rathschmidt, noted that the cost the company shared with Apollo was the price per 1,000 API calls, not a monthly bill.
“Our pricing is based on usage levels that we measure to be as equitable as possible. We’ve been, and will continue, to work with third-party apps to help them improve efficiency, which can significantly impact overall cost,” he said.
Earlier, Reddit announced that will start charging for the use of its API. This change is not a general policy, and the API will remain free for developers building apps and bots that help people use Reddit, as well as for researchers studying Reddit for academic or non-commercial purposes.