On Thursday, the developer of the popular Apollo app for Mac, which is a third-party interface for Reddit, announced that the app would be closing. The app will remain live until June 30.
The developer announced the change in a Reddit post, saying “Eight years ago, I posted in the Apple subreddit about a Reddit app I was looking for beta testers for, and my life completely changed that day… Today’s a much sadder post than that initial one eight years ago.” The developer originally went to the social media platform to protest Reddit’s changes to API pricing. After talks turned “ugly,” they said Apollo would be closing.
Apollo is a popular Reddit app for Apple devices, so much so that Apple featured it during its WWDC 2023 keynote. The developer says the changes to API pricing would cost the app around $20 million per month to keep the app live.
According to the developer, internal conversations at Reddit have turned sour since the original post went live. The developer says, in one meeting, Reddit’s CEO Steve Huffman said the following: “Apollo threatened us, said they’ll ‘make it easy’ if Reddit gave them $10 million.”
Just an hour after the post, Reddit announced it would host an AMA with the CEO to discuss changes to the API. Since announcing the change, Reddit says the move wasn’t an attempt to “kill” any third-party apps.
Reddit has maintained a free API pricing model since its inception, and it only recently moved to charging for API access. Third-party apps, such as Apollo, rely on the API to serve posts, comments, and other Reddit features into a separate interface. These apps generally come free of Reddit’s ads and may contain more features. Reddit says the move is to ensure that the people using Reddit are seeing the ads it serves.
In protest of the changes, a multitude of subreddits have announced a 48-hour blackout period where they won’t interact with Reddit.
Reddit’s move follows in the footsteps of Twitter’s API changes carved out by Elon Musk, which similarly shuttered third-party Twitter apps. Reddit says it’s not doing the same thing: “I think one thing that we have tried to be very, very, very intentional about is we are not Elon, we’re not trying to be that, we’re not trying to go down that same path.”
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