Substack’s Notes feature is getting more Twitter-like capabilities | TechCrunch

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Substack is adding new capabilities to its Twitter-like Notes feature that bring it more in-line with the social network now known as X. The company announced on Tuesday that users can now post videos directly to Notes in the Substack app and on the web. Users can now also embed Notes on external webpages.

The launch of the new features come a year after Substack introduced Notes in April 2023, during a time when companies were aiming to attract users who were fleeing Twitter after Elon Musk took the reigns of the social network in late 2022. Notes let users share posts, quotes, comments, images, links and ideas in a Tweet-like format, The short-form content is displayed in a dedicated Twitter-like feed.

Starting today, users can post videos directly to Notes by recording a video or selecting one from their phone’s camera roll or their desktop. The company says more writers and creators are using its video tools and starting new shows on the platform, so it wants to make it possible for them to share their work on Notes, too. Given that apps like X and Meta’s Threads allow users to post videos, it makes sense for Notes to offer the capability as well.

As for embedding Notes on external pages, Substack says the new capability will allow writers’ content to travel widely across the web beyond Substack. In an example given by Substack, a writer’s Note could be embedded into a news article, which happens with X posts quite often. Users can find a Note’s embed code by clicking on the three-dot menu in the top right corner and selecting the “embed note” option.

Substack announced on Tuesday that Notes has generated more than 3,000 paid subscriptions and 230,000 free subscriptions for writers and creators on Substack in the past 30 days. In its blog post, Substack explains that Notes is especially valuable for users who don’t have large pre-existing audiences.

The company saw an opportunity to capitalize on the chaos at Twitter as soon as it began. In October 2022, Substack took a direct shot at Twitter and warned in a post  that: “Twitter is changing, and it’s tough to predict what might be next.” The post had encouraged creators of all sorts to port their Twitter follower base to Substack. Substack then took its ambitions further with the launch of a Chat feature, and then later, Notes.

As Substack continues to build out its Twitter-like product, X is spiraling further into disarray, as the company announced on Monday that it plans to charge new users a small fee before they are allowed to post on the social network, in an effort to curb the platform’s bot problem.


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