A note on Substack
If you're into writing online you probably heard about Substack. It's a company founded 6 years ago with a focus on newsletters. Their entire business plan was centred around premium newsletters with direct support for the authors and the founders are very bullish on their mission to the point of arguing they're changing the internet.
Just the other day they launched a new feature called Notes which is just another spin on the Twitter concept. I'm not here to discuss the pros and cons of Notes vs Twitter because frankly speaking, I couldn't care less about those two but I am fascinated by what the founders said in a recent post:
Very soon, we’ll launch Notes, a large investment in providing writers with an alternative for growth outside of traditional social networks.
What does "traditional social networks" mean at this point? At what point does Substack also become a "traditional" social network? They started with a newsletters-first model. Most people don't even realise that anymore and think Substack is a blogging platform. Now there's a Notes feature which is essentially Twitter and Substack is pushing people to use their native app. How's that different from a "traditional" social platform? Is the difference that Substack doesn't advertise and instead takes a cut of the premium subscriptions? Will that be sustainable in the long run? I'm skeptical. But it's certainly a fascinating time for the online publishing world.