Taking Medium to the Next Level
Two years ago, we opened up Medium for anyone to write. It was a new, well-lit place for an old idea: letting people share their stories, their ideas, their unique perspectives.
In designing how Medium works, we had a few goals: help good stuff get the attention it deserves, no matter who the author is. Keep it simple; put words first. Enable meaningful feedback. Optimize for substance.
The world has reacted. Medium has become an ideas exchange, where thinkers, creators, and those with a story to share come to find their audience, move people, and move us all forward.
It’s the place where Bono lays out a Marshall Plan for Africa and Melinda Gates responds. It’s where a gay Catholic discovers his voice, which leads to meeting the pope. Where members of the trans community talk about what they wished they could wear in public. It’s where former Amazon employees give Jeff Bezos feedback. It’s where best-selling author John Green discusses the absurd nature of press tours. And it’s where Michael Pollan lays out a food policy for the country, calling on Washington to respond.
But that’s just the last few weeks.
Increasingly, people come to Medium to find the most diverse thinking on issues they care about. And they don’t just find it, they read it. And they don’t just read it, they respond, they share, they highlight the best parts. When you read on Medium, you’re reading and thinking with others — others who share your views, as well as those who don’t (which makes you smarter).
I’m proud of where we are, but, as I like to say: There’s always another level. Another level of polish and power in our product. Another level of breadth to our content. Another level of dialogue and discussion. And another level of progress. Today, we are announcing a slew of updates to bring Medium to the next level and in the process make it more powerful, more fun, more democratic, and more essential.
Here’s what’s new:
In the last six months, the time spent reading in Medium’s native mobile apps has tripled. It’s one of the best interactive reading experiences you can find (and in fact, people spend more time reading on our apps than on the web). Today we launched the biggest updates to our apps yet. They each offer new ways to discover all the great stories on Medium, richer profiles, an activity feed to see what’s happening in your network, the ability to write and edit your posts, and more.
Medium is primarily about the content, but the content is made better by the context of people. In order to more seamlessly connect people to ideas, we’ve added mentions to Medium. Now, when you write, you can invite other voices into your conversation.
We launched the web’s best writing experience when we started and have been making it better ever since.
It’s kind of strange that I’ve started using @Medium’s site as a word processor, it’s that satisfying to write into. — Oliver Judge
Today, we’re making a number of editor improvements to make writing easier and, more importantly, to make sure that your words look great on any device, in any context. This has meant adding things to — as well as removing some things from — the writing experience. We’ve also made updates to how Notes and “in-context” Responses work on the web.
Learn more about these changes and why we made them: New for Medium Writers.
Not all content needs to be written in Medium to benefit from our network and interaction. To make it easier to publish to Medium — and, therefore, broaden the scope of content available to readers — we’re opening up a publishing API.
The API lets you write in a desktop or mobile editor and publish straight to Medium. It also works with major publishing tools like Blogger and Wordpress for those who want to syndicate into Medium. Read more about the API.
More and more people and organizations want to make Medium the home for their content. For some people, that means keeping their own domain. A few months ago we launched a very early beta of custom domains on the Medium backbone.
During this testing period, over 100 sites moved to or launched on Medium under a custom domain. Starting today, we are fast-forwarding this migration by opening up custom domains to everyone and making it quick and painless to transfer. Learn more about moving your domain to Medium.
To cap off all this freshness, we’ve updated the Medium logo and wordmark. The new logo better reflects the depth of perspective you can find on Medium. It also just looks cool:
What’s coming next
Over the next few months, you can expect even bigger advancements in how you tell your story, find compelling ideas, and engage in meaningful discourse on Medium.
In addition, we are going to be exploring new ways for professional and independent content creators to connect with both brands and their readers. We are committed to facilitating those relationships in a way that helps money flow back to creators so they can sustain themselves doing what they love.
As I said in the beginning, there’s always another level. We’ve reached a new one today. And I can confidently say we’re just getting started.