Substack is introducing new features to improve the reading experience on the platform and not just for writers. The platform wants to make itself better for readers and not just writers alone, although it is somehow vague regarding the specifics.
Substack To Improve Reading Experience
The platform, Substack is planning to make the platform a better place for readers and that being said, it will reportedly be adding features to its reading apps so that they get to “feel increasingly useful and fun,” co-founders Chris Best, Hamish McKenzie, and Jairaj Sethi in a post on Thursday stated. Substack as you should now is perhaps best known as a place for writers to build newsletter audiences and then make a living from their work, but the co-founders on the platform have however spelled out a vision for just how Substack itself can be a better place to actually read things as well.
“The internet revolutionized reading, but instead of a utopia, it has delivered a mess,” the co-founders revealed. “The main places where we get to read online today are cacophonic, stressful, and milking our minds for ad dollars.” They got to acknowledge that there are nice but niche reading products but however, argue that large tech companies don’t really seem interested in making them anymore. “Instead, we are left to contend with a fusillade of pop-ups and a Big Social-dominated media economy that is making us angry and stupid.”
Details of the New Changes According To the Company
The co-founders on their own end, however, think that “it is still possible to harness the internet’s powers to create a better world for readers.” That said, here are some details regarding how that might look in practice although I will need to warn you that this is somewhat vague:
“We can see a future where reading online is a pleasure, with fast-to-load posts, clean and uncluttered pages, and simple navigation. We believe in a business model that gives readers the power to help shape culture by directly supporting the writers and work they most value, leading to an incentive system that rewards quality and applies upward pressure for excellence in even the smallest of niches. We think that reading can be social without being distracting. And we bet that trusted peer recommendations can drive a discovery system that helps the world’s best readers find the world’s best work—no matter where it comes from. “
Here are some more details regarding the new change, which is also vague;
“Over the coming months and years, we’ll be adding features and evolving our reading apps so that they feel increasingly useful and fun. You’ll not only have a quiet place to read but also somewhere to hang out with the smartest people you know. It’ll be a space where you can establish a home for your cultural interests and build an audience even if you don’t have a publication. And it will all be tied together in a network of meaningful connections—represented by subscriptions—that prioritize trust over time spent or eyeballs captured. “
Substacks Comment on the Matter
Substack didn’t reply to a request for comment immediately regarding the matter about further details or even a more specific timeline. But this very attention to Substack readers isn’t a total surprise. The company already has introduced a handful of features that are intended to encourage users to hang out on the platform itself instead of just reading individual newsletters that come directly to their email inbox, and this is including its mobile apps, the ability to add RSS feeds to your Substack feed, and then its tweet-like Notes.
And this very post as you should know is Substack sticking its flag in the ground as reading on the internet is in some kind of turmoil. And right now that many people are spending less time on Twitter and are not so happy with Reddit, there is an opportunity to easily establish the next collective internet hangout for text, whether that is Threads, something that is involving ActivityPub, or someplace else completely.
Substacks Aim with the New Features
While “it has been clear for a while now who a Substack writer is,” the co-founders stated, that in making these very changes, Substack wants to build something that gets to make people describe themselves as a “Substack reader” (emphasis theirs). I guess we will get to see if that happens eventually.
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