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Reddit relents, makes first concession in its plans to impair third-party apps

If a third-party Reddit app primarily exists for accessibility purposes, Reddit will leave it alone.

Published onJune 7, 2023

Reddit stock photo 7
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • In a win for Reddit third-party apps, Reddit will not require accessibility-focused apps to abide by new API rules.
  • For example, RedditForBlind and Luna for Reddit will be able to function as normal.
  • This is a sign that the community’s mass protests are chipping away at Reddit’s armor.

For the past week, we’ve been covering the turmoil at Reddit over the company’s plans to impair Reddit third-party apps by making it financially difficult for them to survive. One of the major points of contention for this change is how it will affect apps that primarily exist to help people use the platform who would have difficulty doing so using just the official channels.

Two examples of this are RedditForBlind and Luna for Reddit, two apps that help visually impaired people to use and moderate the site. In a big win today, Reddit confirmed to The Verge that it would not apply its upcoming API access changes to apps in this category. The only requirements are that the apps must not be commercial and their primary function should be accessibility.

Notably, this would not change anything for the big Reddit third-party apps, such as Apollo, BaconReader, reddit is fun, etc. Those apps have accessibility features, but that’s not their primary function, and all those apps are commercialized.

Interestingly, moderators at r/Blind claimed to have talked to Reddit this week about the need for apps to help them moderate the subreddit and for visually impaired users to visit it. At the time, Reddit allegedly did not back down, with moderators saying their “concerns have gone unheard, and Reddit remains firm.”

Now, days later, Reddit has changed its stance. It’s possible the plans for massive subreddits to go dark on June 12 are having an effect on the company. That list grows every day, with r/Android now committed to shut down for 48 hours starting next week.

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