Reddit Testing Verification Mark And New Accessibility Features

The new feature is currently limited to the app only, and being tested with a small group of users.

Reddit has this week announced its testing a new verification mark as proof of profile authenticity. The tag will appear as a flair next to a username and is currently being tested by a small pool of users.

This “official” badge experiment comes following Meta, LinkedIn and Tumblr’s move into profile verification, as well as Twitter’s change to paid-only blue checks earlier this year.

Reddit has had a turbulent time of late, with users of the platform, ‘Redditors’, protesting its API changes.

Verification is App-Only Feature For Now

Right now the verification mark is only available to a very small number of profiles that belong to organizations already collaborating with Reddit and the communities on its platform. 

There’s no word on whether there’s an application process to get a tag, or if it’ll cost a monthly fee when the feature opens up more widely. It’s also understood that the tag will only be visible on iOS and Android apps to begin with. 

The company is also sharing a change to how notifications are received, with moderator bots checking to see if comments and replies follow Reddit’s rules. They will then only send a notification if the post is not removed. This change will hopefully prevent “ghost notifications” which is where users tap on a post to find it no longer exists.

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New Accessibility Features Are On The Horizon

In addition to verifications, Reddit also shared its plan for accessibility features on its own apps. 

Things like the left navigation menu, profile drawer, bottom tab bar, Community page, post detail page and Home & Popular feeds will be compatible with screen readers from next month.

This development is likely to be heavily influenced by the protests against Reddit’s API changes last month, which saw the shut down of apps that featured good accessibility.

In response to this announcement, r/Blind moderators shared posts that stated the company’s updates had made it worse for screen readers. They also accused Reddit of not talking with those who took part in an accessibility feedback group, and are “sending mixed signals” when it comes to these issues.

Reddit’s response has been that it will start reaching out to people next week.

These Updates Come Following API Protests

Early last month thousands of forums on the platform went dark to protest the proposed API changes that would see access costs increasing, resulting in lots of third-party tools being priced out.

This unpopular decision has seen many developers downing tools on the apps they’ve created to make Reddit more accessible and easier to use.

Reddit’s change was said to be cynical and in an attempt to force users to download its own app, thereby boosting ad revenue despite a poor user experience.

Whether or not these latest updates will help mitigate the upset over the API row remains to be seen. But by focusing time and cost into its own app, it’s clear Reddit won’t be bowing down to protest pressure and lifting the API restrictions. 

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Written by:
Ellis Di Cataldo (MA) has over 9 years experience writing about, and for, some of the world’s biggest tech companies. She's been the lead writer across digital campaigns, always-on content and worldwide product launches, for global brands including Sony, Electrolux, Byrd, The Open University and Barclaycard. Her particular areas of interest are business trends, startup stories and product news.
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