Substack’s new short-form ‘Notes’ feed seems lots like Twitter
Substack introduced at this time that it’s introducing a brand new Notes characteristic that’s designed to let customers share posts, quotes, feedback, pictures, hyperlinks and concepts. Notes shared on the platform are displayed in a devoted short-form feed that appears lots like Twitter. When you share a observe, it’s basically like posting a Tweet. Every observe shows a like depend and remark depend. There’s additionally the choice to “restack,” or retweet, a submit.
The corporate appears to agree that the brand new characteristic seems just like Twitter, as Substack famous in its announcement submit that Notes “might seem like acquainted social media feeds.” Nevertheless, Substack argues that Notes differs from conventional social media feeds as a result of it doesn’t run on adverts.
“The lifeblood of an ad-based social media feed is consideration,” the corporate wrote in a weblog submit. “In contrast, the lifeblood of a subscription community is the cash paid to people who find themselves doing nice work inside it. Right here, folks get rewarded for respecting the belief and a spotlight of their audiences. The final word objective on this platform is to transform informal readers into paying subscribers. On this system, the overwhelming majority of the monetary rewards go to the creators of the content material.”
Substack additionally argues that Notes received’t really feel like conventional social media, and that the objective with the brand new product is to not create a “completely sanitized data surroundings,” however to permit for constructive dialogue the place there’s sufficient widespread floor to hunt understanding “whereas holding onto the worthwhile pressure wanted for excellent artwork and new concepts.”
Given the corporate’s propensity to host controversial writers and the in any other case deplatformed, this path with its Notes feed might see it wading even deeper into the culture wars surrounding what constitutes free speech. The extra Substack associates its model with the extra excessive private manufacturers of divisive media personalities, the much less it might be able to appeal to the bigger (and sometimes extra average) readers that represent the majority of any community’s person base.
The launch of Notes isn’t the one manner Substack has tried to capitalize on the Twitter chaos in current months, as the corporate rolled out a Chat feature final November. It additionally took a extra direct shot at Twitter, when it warned in a post final yr that “Twitter is altering, and it’s powerful to foretell what is perhaps subsequent.” The submit had inspired creators of all types to port their Twitter follower base to Substack. The brand new Notes product, which is just about a Twitter clone, takes Substack’s hopes on capitalizing on the Twitter chaos even additional.
It’s value noting that with Notes, Substack isn’t solely taking up Twitter, the place many back-and-forth threaded discussions between writers and readers already happen, but in addition different on-line communities the place writers have been constructing out networks of their very own, like Discord, Slack and Telegram.
At the moment’s announcement comes every week after Substack opened up a community fundraising round, letting writers put money into and personal a chunk of the corporate. As of at this time, Substack has $7,138,675 in pledges.
The corporate revealed that readers have paid writers greater than $300 million via Substack, and that the platform now has greater than 35 million lively subscriptions, together with two million paid subscriptions. Substack additionally revealed that greater than 17,000 writers are incomes cash on Substack, with the highest 10 publishers on Substack collectively making greater than $25 million yearly.