Reddit is creating an exemption to its unpopular new API pricing terms for makers of accessibility apps, which could come as a big relief for some developers worried about how to afford the potentially expensive fees and the users that rely on the apps to browse Reddit. As long as those apps are noncommercial and “address accessibility needs,” they won’t have to pay to access Reddit’s data.
“We’ve connected with select developers of non-commercial apps that address accessibility needs and offered them exemptions from our large-scale pricing terms,” Reddit spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt says in a statement to The Verge.
The Reddit community has been in an uproar over the API pricing changes that might saddle developers with exorbitant charges and force them to shut down. Apollo developer Christian Selig, for example, says he’ll be on the hook for about $20 million per year based on the updated pricing. Three days ago, moderators on the r/Blind subreddit posted an extensive message protesting the pricing changes, which could be hugely detrimental to apps for screen reader users like RedditForBlind and Luna For Reddit.
“This doesn’t only impact your ability to access Reddit in a fluid, customizable, and efficient way; many of us on the mod team are also blind, and we depend on those third party apps to make sure that this community remains a safe, fun, and productive place,” the mods wrote. They added that new Reddit and the official Reddit apps “just don’t provide us with the levels of accessibility we need in order to continue effectively running this community.”
In the message, the mods wrote that one mod had “multiple hour-long calls” with Reddit staff, but as of the writing of the message, “our concerns have gone unheard, and Reddit remains firm.” Days later, Reddit is now making some accommodations.
According to the post, r/Blind plans to join many other subreddits in shutting down from June 12th to June 14th in protest.