Substack brings its ‘Chat’ discussion feature to the web

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Substack announced today that it’s bringing its “Chat” feature to the web after launching on mobile last November. Chat allows writers to communicate directly with their loyal readers on Substack. When Substack first announced chat, the company hoped to capitalize on the turmoil on Twitter following the Elon Musk acquisition.

The company also announced that it is expanding controls over who can start new conversations in a Substack. Publishers can now choose to allow all subscribers, only paying subscribers, or only founders to start a chat.

“These new features allow more people to participate in chats, from any device, while giving subscribers a more active role in the community conversations,” the company said in a blog post. ā€œIt’s also a boon for those of us who prefer to type on a keyboard rather than a touchscreen. Chat turns a Substack from a broadcast medium into a place to hang out with the people who share your intellectual interests.ā€

Substack notes that writers who have hosted two or more chats on Substack earn 19% more annual revenue than those who have not.

With Chat, Substack takes over not only Twitter, where many back-and-forth discussions between writers and readers already take place, but also other online communities where writers have built their own networks, such as Discord, Slack, and Telegram.

Today’s announcement comes a few weeks after Substack introduced Private Substacks, which are publications you can host on your own or ask readers to subscribe to read your posts. The launch indicated that the company was moving a little further into Twitter territory by offering Private Substacks, given that Twitter has offered the ability to make your account private for many years, and also offers Twitter Circle, which allows you to go to a smaller public tweet. of your choice.

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