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Substack unveils direct messages for writer-reader interaction

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In a major development for the Substack platform, users can now engage in direct messaging and enhance their networking and collaboration.

The company announced that the direct messages are integrated into the Chat tab on the Substack website and app. These private conversations will coexist alongside chats from subscribed publications, offering a unified communication hub.

Users can initiate a DM from various touchpoints, including a writer or reader’s profile page, the Chat tab, or by utilising the ‘Share’ motion on a post or note.

Notifications for incoming DMs will be delivered through the app and email, ensuring users stay informed and connected.

To maintain control over communication, users will only receive DMs from those they are connected to. Messages from others will be directed to a Requests folder, allowing recipients to accept or reject them.

The platform also allows users to block unwanted messages and report any content that violates Substack’s guidelines.

Substack is encouraging writers to integrate a ‘Send a message’ button into their posts, opening avenues for news tips, collecting questions for subscriber mailbags, or simply fostering a channel for readers to express their thoughts.

For paying customers, the platform allows customisation to limit DM requests exclusively to this group, providing an additional perk and incentivising subscriptions.

In 2023, the company introduced a new feature called “Notes” to its platform. This feature made the platform more like a social media network. Notes are similar to tweets on X and have similar functions such as the ability to like, reshare, and reply to the post. Although Notes has no character limit, the company insisted that it should be used to publish quick thoughts.

Substack’s introduction of direct messaging marks a strategic move by the company towards strengthening the bond between readers and writers. In future, we could see more such tweaks on the platform giving it more of a social media look.

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Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: kumarhemant@pm.me

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