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Authors may now pay to block off their “Chat” discussion areas on Substack.

Writers may now paywall their entire chat or certain topics exclusively to paying or founding members, Substack said on Wednesday. Substack is rolling out the new feature eighteen months after introducing Chat as a means for authors to interact directly with their devoted followers.

In addition to serving as a paid benefit for readers, the business believes paywalled chats will keep discussions private and troll-free. According to Substack, active chat users are 12% more likely to keep their memberships.

Writers have the option to paywall a single chat thread or the entire chat. After a writer paywalls the chat, we will notify free members and non-subscribers to upgrade for viewing.

Image Credits: Substack

To facilitate navigating large groups, Substack is also improving the Chat interface. The firm is introducing a chat search to help users locate older discussions more easily. To keep users from losing their position in a chat, it’s also offering thread alerts and new respond badges. To facilitate staying current on discussions while addressing live issues, Substack is also improving its back-end technologies to load new chats and answers in real time.

Substack first introduced Chat with the intention of taking advantage of the turmoil surrounding Twitter after Elon Musk’s acquisition. “Many readers prefer the simplicity of Substack Chat to other platforms,” Substack said in its most recent blog post, indicating that it still views Chat as a competitive substitute for Twitter (now X). The firm next emphasized a paying subscriber’s feedback that said chat works well in place of X.

Not only chat is vying with X at Substack; a year ago, the business debuted a “Notes” tool akin to Twitter. Users can use the Notes function to tweet and share articles, quotations, comments, photos, videos, and more. A special Twitter-like feed houses the short-form material.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

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