Narwhal, a popular third-party Reddit app, recently announced that it will soon require paid subscriptions due to Reddit’s new API pricing model. This shift has garnered mixed reactions from Narwhal’s loyal userbase.
Background on the Issue
In October 2022, Reddit began charging developers for API access beyond a certain threshold. As a result, Narwhal’s developer can no longer sustain free access for all users.
To continue using Narwhal, users will need to purchase one of several subscription tiers based on their expected monthly API call volume:
|Tier||Monthly API Calls||Price|
Top-up bundles of 2,500 calls can also be purchased for $1.
User Concerns Over the Changes
Many loyal Narwhal users have expressed disappointment and frustration over the subscription mandate. Common concerns include:
- Affordability: For heavy Reddit users, the multi-dollar monthly fees could add up quickly. Some feel this exceeds what they can reasonably pay for a Reddit app.
- Uncertainty over needed tier: Without historical API call data, users are unsure which tier to select. Some worry about underestimating and needing expensive top-ups.
- Paying for unused calls: Subscriptions are use-it-or-lose-it. Users want rollover data or pay-as-you-go options.
- Fairness: Users feel it’s unfair to suddenly charge for an app many already paid a one-time fee for.
Sample User Comments
Here are some comments that illustrate users’ perspectives:
“I don’t have a problem paying, but please if possible add a yearly option, it doesn’t need to be discounted just easy to pay upfront and not think about it.”
“If you can search within a post that would be amazing and ild be in!!”
“A $4.99 tier for 10,000 API calls seems like the right amount for me too.”
“Unless there’s a way to configure which API features I care about in order to min-max the amount of API calls I make, I can’t justify the monthly fees.”
“I ain’t paying $12/m to use Reddit. I’ve used it for free the last 10 years.”
While the developer aims to make subscriptions affordable, the pricing is largely out of Narwhal’s control due to Reddit’s fees. However, the developer seems open to suggestions, like adding lower tiers or rollover data.
Many users remain loyal to Narwhal and willing to pay a fair price. But some frustrations persist around the suddenness of the change. Narwhal will need to strike the right balance to retain its user base.