Substack is introducing direct messaging, permitting customers to have non-public one-on-one conversations, the corporate announced at this time. DMs will be accessed within the Chat tab on the Substack app and web site. By default, customers will solely obtain DMs from individuals they’re linked to. Different messages will go to a Requests folder the place you may select to both settle for or reject them.

After launching an X (previously Twitter) clone final 12 months referred to as Notes, Substack is now copying one more characteristic from the social community. Just a few months after launching Notes, the corporate began permitting customers to observe one another. Though Substack is finest often called a publication platform, the corporate has slowly been altering its platform to grow to be extra of a social community over the previous 12 months, and the brand new DMs characteristic takes this transition a step additional.

Substack says DMs was a extremely requested characteristic amongst customers, and plenty of customers have shared their pleasure on the announcement put up. However not everybody could also be within the addition, as a consumer commented asking if DMs will be turned off, noting that they didn’t need individuals to contact them straight. Substack responded and mentioned customers can disable DMs by going into their settings and selecting “Enable message requests from” to “Nobody.”

The corporate examined DMs with a small group of writers and located that they can be utilized to construct subscriber loyalty, join with fellow writers and domesticate a reader group. Substack says it hopes DMs will strengthen the connections writers make on the platform.

Picture Credit: Substack

If writers need to encourage their readers to message them straight, they will add a “Ship a message” button on new posts. Substack says this may also help writers do issues like solicit information ideas or gather questions.

The launch of DMs comes a number of days after Substack up to date its peer-to-peer advice system, permitting writers to curate and share an inventory of publications for his or her readers to subscribe to. The concept behind the change is is permit writers to assist different writers in increasing their attain and probably getting extra subscribers and followers.

Substack has had a controversial begin to 2024 after saying it wouldn’t ban Nazi newsletters. Substack CEO Hamish McKenzie said although Substack bans posts with “incitements to violence,” the corporate will follow a “decentralized method to content material moderation.” In response, notable writers like Casey Newton and Ryan Broderick determined to depart Substack.