On Tuesday, Substack launches Notes, a Twitter-like tool for shorter messages. Notes may be a good Twitter alternative for Substack writers who have grown audiences on the site and are searching for a new location to publish after Twitter throttled and tagged Substack links as dangerous.
Substack’s Notes will be on a separate tab from the complete newsletters in the Inbox tab and the Chat tab’s newsletter threads. Substack spokesperson Helen Tobin tells The Verge that Notes may be used to share “posts, quotations, comments, photographs, and links” without word restriction.
Video isn’t supported. However, posts can include up to six images or GIFs. Your notes will only appear on Substack’s website and app. Like, respond, and “restack” (retweet) buttons let you engage with other Notes.
“Home” and “Subscribed” feeds are available in Notes. “Home” displays remarks from writers you subscribe to and “writers they recommend,” including new writers. “Subscribed” only displays subscribed notes.
Substack anticipates Notes to “have bumps, glitches, and defects, and to improve it swiftly in response to feedback” after testing with “a small number of authors in recent weeks.” Yet Substack is marketing it as a tool to help writers obtain subscribers. So instead of advertising your Substack on Twitter and hoping others subscribe, Substack believes Notes will reach an audience “already involved in the Substack ecosystem and are just one click away from a subscription.”
Notes feel like Twitter from my quick experience. You can see a writer’s publication beneath their name and subscribe straight from the Note, which makes signing up for a newsletter easier.
If big Substack producers go to Notes, Substack may gain popularity. Nonetheless, Twitter has eased its Substack limits so that some authors may continue on Twitter despite last week’s drama.