Reddit’s new usage-based API pricing is now in effect, and while the potential costs forced many third-party apps to shut down, a handful of apps are pivoting to paid subscriptions to help pay for Reddit’s API fees. On Monday, the developer of one surviving iOS app, Narwhal, announced the monthly fee for the app: $3.99 per month.
Narwhal’s developer, who goes by det0ur on Reddit, went into more detail about the fee in a Monday post. “Reddit is now charging a substantial fee to use the API to power Narwhal,” det0ur wrote. “This fee will be tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands a month depending on how many people subscribe. The only goal of this subscription is to cover the costs of using the API.” The monthly fee is set to come into effect in a week or two.
You’ll have to pay monthly, at least for the moment. Users won’t be able to buy a lifetime unlock because “the API has a monthly cost to Narwhal,” det0ur says. Although det0ur is considering a way to pay annually, “for now, we are a bit worried about Reddit increasing the price of the API. To be safe, we are going to keep it a monthly subscription.”
det0ur landed on the $3.99 per month price after initially announcing a set of subscription tiers. The tiers, which ranged from $2.99 per month to $11.99 per month, gave you a certain number of API calls (one call is basically anything Narwhal needs to access from Reddit itself and load into the app) based on how much you paid. Under that model, if you ran out of API calls, you could pay more to top up your plan.
But soon after announcing it, det0ur made a post announcing the at-the-time potential switch to the flat monthly rate. “Let’s be real, the 2003-esque cell phone plan with monitored usage just isn’t great,” det0ur said in the post. “Who wants to even worry about what an API call is? Let alone how much it will cost.”
One Reddit app, Relay for Reddit, has also announced a business model with tiered subscriptions. (Some users aren’t fans.) Another, Now for Reddit, is taking the $3.99 per month approach.