Reddit's controversial API charges force Apollo to close its doors - Hindustan Times
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Reddit's controversial API charges force third party client, Apollo to close its doors

Jun 09, 2023 09:03 AM IST

Reddit's recent decision to charge for API access has led to the shutdown of Apollo, a popular third-party client.

In a controversial move, Reddit's decision to charge for API access has resulted in the shutdown of Apollo, a popular third-party client for the platform.

FILE PHOTO: Reddit app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Reddit app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo(REUTERS)

Christian Selig, the creator of Apollo, announced on Twitter that the app will close down on June 30th due to Reddit's recent decisions and actions, which have made it impossible for Apollo to continue.

“Apollo will close down on June 30th. Reddit’s recent decisions and actions have unfortunately made it impossible for Apollo to continue,” the Tweet read.

Selig, who is the sole developer working on Apollo, raised concerns about the changes last week. He estimated that complying with Reddit's new rules, set to be implemented on June 19th, would cost him approximately $20 million per year to keep the app running as it currently does.

Accusing Reddit of slander, Selig claimed that the company had misrepresented him during calls with some of the site's moderators following a misunderstanding.

According to Selig, he suggested to Reddit that if the high volume of API calls from Apollo was causing significant financial strain (potentially around $20 million per year), he would be willing to end Apollo if they provided him with compensation.

“I suggested you cut a check to me to end Apollo. I said I’d even do it for half that or six months worth: $10 million.”

While Reddit representatives apologized for misunderstanding his remarks as a threat, Selig alleged that CEO Steve Huffman informed moderators that Apollo had threatened them, implying coercion.

The sole Apollo developer emphasized that he did not want Reddit to defame him by falsely claiming that he had made threats, especially since they had promptly apologized for the misunderstanding.

“I don’t want Reddit slandering me to internal employees or public people by saying I threatened them when the reality is that they immediately apologized for misunderstanding me…I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I don’t think this situation is recoverable,” he wrote.

At the time of publication of this article, Reddit had declined to comment on the situation to Engadget but promised to provide more information later.

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The announcement of the API changes by Reddit drew swift backlash from the community. While the company partially backtracked by offering free API access to accessibility app operators, many major subreddit moderators still plan to make their communities unavailable for at least 48 hours in protest.

Following Selig's announcement, the developer of RIF (formerly known as Reddit is Fun) revealed that their app would also shut down on June 30th. The developer expressed disappointment with Reddit's “consistent unwillingness to compromise” on issues like API pricing and the display of ads in third-party apps.

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