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Here's how one third-party app might survive Reddit's changes

Relay for Reddit's developer says a move to a subscription-based app is in the works.

Published onJune 13, 2023

Reddit stock photo 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • The Relay for Reddit developer has outlined a possible solution to Reddit’s API changes.
  • He notes that the free version of Relay for Reddit will make way for a subscription model.

Tons of subreddits have gone dark in protest this week over Reddit’s API changes. The changes are slated to kill many third-party Reddit apps, with the developers of Apollo for iOS, Sync for Reddit, and Reddit Is Fun all confirming they’ll shut down.

Now, the developer of the third-party Relay for Reddit app on Android has outlined a possible solution (h/t: The Verge). 

“There’s no possibility to continue the free version of Relay; a monthly subscription price of $3 (or less) might be achievable,” developer David Brady noted in a summary on Reddit.

Would you pay for a subscription to third-party Reddit apps?

695 votes

Reddit is charging a huge fee for API access, with Apollo for Reddit developer Christian Selig claiming this could amount to up to $20 million a year. But Brady says he’s implemented changes to decrease the average number of API calls per user to roughly 100. And a reduced number of calls should mean a smaller bill to Reddit.

Brady explains what this means for a rejigged app:

At that level of calls, there is potential to offer a monthly subscription for Relay in the $2-3 price range.

The developer says the tweaked Relay for Reddit app would be ad-free and wouldn’t have recommended content. However, Reddit’s API changes also bar explicit content in third-party apps, and Brady acknowledges that Relay for Reddit users, therefore, wouldn’t be able to access this content.

Finally, the developer noted that one of the major hurdles for these changes is the “alarmingly tight” deadline to implement them. Reddit’s API changes come into effect on July 1. Either way, it’s encouraging to see one developer has a potential solution, but we’d still like to see Reddit repeal or alter these changes so third-party app developers don’t have to jump through these hoops.

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