Substack is launching a brand new characteristic known as “group” — particularly, the flexibility for publication publishers to create dialogue threads, which might both be open to anybody or restricted to subscribers.
The thought of beginning a dialogue thread the place readers can argue about issues like the season finale of “Recreation of Thrones” isn’t new — and even prior to now, Substack supported feedback when newsletters are revealed on-line.
Nonetheless, co-founder Hamish McKenzie mentioned, “The dynamic that we’re seeing within the feedback sections is totally totally different from the dynamics in these group discussions. They carry out extra like a Fb Group.”
Co-founder and CEO Chris Finest advised that these threads are conducive to extra substantive conversations, as a result of Substack has labored on “getting the inducement construction proper,” particularly because you’re interacting with “like-minded friends” and an “writer that you simply care about, and in quite a lot of instances are paying cash to.”
And for authors, it’s a method to construct that sense of group, partaking immediately with their readers in an ad-free atmosphere.
“Not like Fb Teams or different locations the place individuals collect on-line, the Substack writer owns the member checklist, the writer owns the platform,” Finest added.
Substack has been testing these discussions with authors like Daniel Ortberg and Nicole Cliffe, and at present is making them accessible to anybody with a Substack publication. Whereas the startup launched in 2017 as a manner for publication authors to cost a subscription price, it’s been including new options like podcast assist. As Finest put it, “Our imaginative and prescient for what Substack is, is greater than simply being newsletters.”