These popular third-party Reddit apps will disappear Saturday as API changes take effect

Innovation

Key Takeaways
  • Apollo for Reddit, which has claimed it would cost $20 million a year to continue operations after the changes, is the most popular third-party app that will shut down—a service that lasted more than nine years and had more than a million monthly users.
  • In a Reddit post on the eve of its death, Apollo thanked its users and criticized Reddit, writing: “If they wanted something that could work for everyone, they would have simply made an effort to listen, instead of being dishonest, callous, and punitive in pricing.”
  • Rif is fun for Reddit, an Android counterpart of Apollo, is also shutting down after more than a decade of service, accruing more than 5 million downloads on the Google Play store.
  • Third-party app Narwhal ranks No. 10 on the Apple App Store’s top free apps and will stay active despite fears it would shut down after the API changes—noting it will implement a subscription model to buoy itself from the rising API costs.
  • Relay for Reddit is also shifting to a subscription model to account for the new policies, announcing the change in a Friday post.
Key Background

Reddit has cited millions of dollars in costs needed to support the third-party apps as a reason for the API changes, with CEO Steve Huffman telling The Verge his company incurs “about $10 million” in infrastructure costs as a result. API, or application programming interface, is data that developers have been using to create their third-party apps. The API price increase comes after weeks of user protest that resulted in more than 9,000 subreddit blackouts, pushback from Reddit CEO Steve Huffman and the posting of NSFW (not safe for work) content on several otherwise innocuous subreddits as a form of dissent. The protest as a whole has died down significantly from its mid-June start, but its lasting effects have created poor sentiment from users continuing to slight Reddit in their respective forums.

Big Number

No. 24. That’s the rank of Apollo on the App Store’s list of top free apps—a ranking higher than apps from the likes of Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, NPR and several other news outlets.

What To Watch For

More than 2,000 subreddits are still private or restricted in protest of the changes. It is unclear when or if the semi-organized protest will come to an end.

Tangent

Makers of Minecraft joined in on the protest against Reddit this week by announcing they will no longer share updates regarding the extremely popular game on the platform. “Because of these changes, we no longer feel that Reddit is an appropriate place to post official content or refer our players to,” wrote a developer from Minecraft’s development company, Mojang.

This article was first published on forbes.com

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