BREAKING: Substack vs. Twitter - Poking Bears Has Consequences | Special Report @IndieMediaToday @SubstackInc @Twitter @TwitterAPI
This is NOT about Matt Taibbi or "The Twitter Files." Substack has been trying to take Twitter's users for months - Twitter finally decided to respond
This is a tough one to write. I LOVE what Substack has been doing for the past 2 years - it’s why we’re here and we advocate for most content creators to take advantage of the power of Substack.
We have to look objectively at why Twitter is now restricting access to people linking to their published Substack articles, even putting up warning screens like below if a URL shortener is used.
I disagree with Twitter’s decision personally and think censorship of a platform trying to compete with yours is childish and won’t serve anyone in the long run.
This is making life difficult at the moment for both Twitter users who like to read Substack articles and Substack writers who use Twitter as a primary means to share their articles on Social Media.
Substack is not totally without fault here - they’ve been going after Twitter for 6 months. Substack QUIETLY declared war on Twitter in November - “The problem isn’t that Elon Musk owns Twitter – it’s that you don’t”
ELON MUSK IS AN ORDER TAKER
with his military contracts for SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Co
provides Starlink for Ukraine & others
he has not had Twitter Support going after the #NAFO troll bots
he listens to the people in power at the intelligence & military that are afraid of the accurate information exposing their lies & propaganda, a la Seymour Hersh & Nord Stream, or Glenn Greenwald & Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Elon Musk is NOT for Free Speech - he won’t even comment on Julian Assange for cryin out loud!
Interesting that most of the writers Elon picked for The Twitter Files were Substack publishers. Was it to try to extricate them from the platform, or attempt to drive a wedge between them? Only Elon knows.
In the meantime, Substack has been making substantial improvements to the platform monthly over the past year, and been transparent about what they’re doing.
They released Iphone & Android apps in 2022, which substantially increased user engagement, sharing between creators & saw an overall lift in subscribers to the platform.
They’ve added Tagging, Writer Profiles, a new web reader,
Twitter is not trying to compete with Substack - they bought Revue but are sunsetting it this year.
API changes to Twitter were looking like it could possibly cost Substack an additional $100k/year or more to keep the API open to embed tweets - not sure if this is ongoing or relevant, but this part of the story is still developing
Substack recently announced they were opening an ownership model for writers to buy into owning a small piece of the platform they contribute to for as little as $100, as opposed to Elon Musk owning Twitter, controlled by him & his hand-selected investors.
Would Substack possibly reconsider shelving Notes in exchange for free ongoing API access to Twitter?
Could they possibly work together?
Twitter is doing what it thinks it needs to in order to protect its business model and proprietary advantage. It will likely backfire, as it will engage fewer users than before.
Elon has a history of overreacting initially then dialing it back - look what happened with Mastodon
Between November & March, Elon Musk sought out the top Substack writers to publish The Twitter Files, exposing the corruption & depth of governmental “partnership” that existed with the prior leadership to suppress ordinary Americans, right up to the elected President of the United States.
4/5 - Substack announces Notes to try to capture audience & looks very similar to a Twitter news feed after Chat has not effectively accomplished taking the audience from Twitter they initially sought.
4/6 - Tweets are unable to be embedded in Substack (looks like may now be fixed, even intermittently). Even& (two of Substack’s co-founders) weighed in
We will continue to monitor and cover this ongoing story as it develops. Would love your feedback about it all in the comments below, or in the Substack Chat!
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