Reddit is revamping search and making a key feature of its app more accessible. The company announced a series of updates it says makes search faster and easier across its app and mobile site.
The changes include a new “media” tab in search and within individual subreddits so users can more easily browse images, video clips, and GIFs. Additionally, search results in Reddit’s app and website are getting a simpler, cleaner look.
Reddit is also making search easier for people using the mobile version of its site who aren’t logged in. Now, logged out searches will have more filters, as well as separate tabs for comments and posts. And mobile web searches are 85 percent faster overall, according to the company.
There are also search improvements specifically for Redditors who rely on screen readers. “The posts and comments tabs on the search result page are now screen reader compatible on native mobile apps,” Reddit explains in a blog post. “We’re adding labels, roles/traits, values, and states to all elements on these pages to help redditors discover content and take action. If a redditor uses a screen reader, they can hear the actions available and the results returned on these tabs.”
That change could help the company address some of the long-running accessibility complaints about its app. Members of r/blind were some of the most vocal opponents to the company’s API crackdown, which resulted in the shuttering of many third-party apps. The company later said that it would exempt some accessibility-focused apps from its API fees, but the moderators of r/blind have said the concession isn’t enough, and that the company has “made it impossible for blind Redditors to moderate their own sub.” While Reddit’s latest updates don’t address blind users’ complaints about its moderation tools, the changes could still be a significant improvement for people who browse the app with screen readers.