Many third-party Reddit apps will be shutting down due to the platform’s prohibitively expensive API changes, but I found one app that might survive — and only by dropping a free version of the app and switching fully to a monthly subscription.
In a post on Sunday, the developer of the Relay for Reddit app for Android outlined how they might be able to keep the app running in spite of the increased API fees. “There’s no possibility to continue the free version of Relay; a monthly subscription price of $3 (or less) might be achievable,” the developer, “Dave,” wrote in the post.
Dave said that there’s “no financially viable way for me to continue to offer a free version of Relay,” which may not come as a surprise given the apparent $20 million per year cost to maintain Apollo for Reddit under the new policies. He’s reduced the number of API calls per user per day, and at the new level of calls, there’s “potential” to offer a subscription to the app at a $2 or $3 per month.
However, “the entire model is ultimately subject to how many, and what type of, users choose to stay with Relay as a subscription-based app,” Dave wrote. He said the app would be ad-free and wouldn’t have recommended content. It also wouldn’t include sexually-explicit content, which is a limitation that will be imposed upon all apps using Reddit’s Data API. He added that the timeline to make changes is “alarmingly tight” — Reddit’s new API pricing goes into effect on July 1st.
Still, it’s good to hear that at least one third-party Reddit developer sees a potential path forward. We’ve reached out to Dave to see if he can share any more detail on his plans.