408 Comments

Thanks for your note and the new tools but I would suggest it would be better for localised pricing to be a percentage of the dollar or pound sterling value. My six-month-old Substack – This Week, Those Books – has more than 6,500 subscribers in 96 countries, and it may not be easy for many to afford even $5 a month. But they could afford, say Rs 100 or 100 Naira a month. It would be wonderful if there were some way to adjust pricing for different territories.

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Purchasing power parity is a great idea and very much on our radar.

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That's great to hear. Any idea of timelines?

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Which will uh more read babe 😘😘

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100% as Gumroad does.

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I'm not au fait with Gumroad but if a model exists, that presumably makes it easier!

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Here's an example: "This product supports purchasing power parity. Because you're located in Germany, the price has been discounted by 20 % to $2.40."

On Medium.com there's a similar discussion for people from India joining. The membership fee is $5 and for many that's A LOT of money. However, they can earn through the MPP partner program so it's tricksý. But that's another story.

Hope you find this valuable.

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Very useful. Thanks for this.

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India is also priced < $5.

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Gumroad seems to be moving and shaking a bit at the moment. As an Australian it appears to me that here, no one knows Gumroad at all - meaning Australia. Still I found two other Aussies on Substack - that's taken 9 months 😂

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Aussie here 👋

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hello fellow comrade! I'll have a read later of your work - good to connect

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Aussie here too! That makes 5 of us :)

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No. 6 here - currently in transit. Hi everyone 😊

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Ooh now it’s getting exciting - hello Liz

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It would also be wonderful to add the possibility of selling publications individually!

Many people do not want to pay monthly, even if they can quit at any moment. Maybe it's a cultural problem or just psychological. Whatever…

On the other hand, it would allow some people to pay for a particular publication that interests them, without subscribing — and without having access to the entire archive.

I think it would make purchases more fluid. And it would also allow writers to enlarge their marketing. Moreover, after purchasing individual items 1 or 2 times, these buyers could upgrade to a subscription.

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Excellent idea. There are one-time payment methods outside of Substack, but they don't work as effortlessly, and involve yet another registration, password, etc. -- too much trouble. Would be better if integrated into Substack.

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Maybe we should ALL take this suggestion back to support?

Here what they answered me: "While we don't currently support selling publications/sections in that way, I do think that's a great suggestion! I've gone ahead and passed this thread along to the product team. We're always looking for ways to improve, so I appreciate the note."

Unity is strength...

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Totally agree with you Anton! Hopefully Substacks add this feature soon ◡̈

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Maybe we should ALL take this suggestion back to support?

Here what they answered me: "While we don't currently support selling publications/sections in that way, I do think that's a great suggestion! I've gone ahead and passed this thread along to the product team. We're always looking for ways to improve, so I appreciate the note."

Unity is strength...

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Dear Rashmee, this is such an important comment, as we can't compare the different countries in terms of income and spending.

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Too true Dorothée. I'm wondering what other Substackers think/do about this issue.

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I have the same issue for some of my readers in Africa. I offer complimentary paid subscription, but they have to let me know so I can activate it. Mostly, they don't, alas.

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Interesting. Thanks for this.

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I feel the same way. And I it’s one of the main reasons why I did not put a paywall on my posts yet. The minimum price we can charge is 5 usd, but 500 INR may actually be a lot of money to pay just to read 1 newsletter per month for my Indian audience.

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Evernote does this and very useful. Pricing based on value of local currency rather than a straight conversation.

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Thanks for this. Hope Substack does so too

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You can go to settings and adjust pricing. So it suits you.

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Thanks. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you can't drop the price below $5 a month?

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-Go to writer dashboard

-Then go to the settings tab at top

- then select payments from drop down menu and set 1, 2, 3, 4 or what you want to price. Let me know if that’s working.

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I'll have a go and let you know. (Please excuse doggerel...)

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So, what I can see is the following (maybe I'm missing something): I can change the currency and then the value. Instead of $5 a month, I can change it to Rs 100 a month. But that would make it unaffordable for paid subscribers in the US, UK etc, wouldn't it?

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I am not employed by substack so not sure if it is a regional thing and it blocks you. I could change mine to lower value.

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Yes!! Thanks for flagging this important topic Rashmee ♡

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Thanks much. Let's hope Substack offer some guidance on the issue – and new tools!!

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I think it is great. BUT... there are many countries that cannot use Stripe. Stripe is available in only 46 countries (down from 47). Is there any chance Substack would consider integrating PayPal so that authors and Newsletters in countries that do not have Stripe can make use of the paid features? (There are other ways to structure this payment problem however PayPal is really the most simple and adds a huge audience.) ETA: this is I think the 4th time I have suggested this, the other times being in the Thursday discussions. I always get the answer it will be passed on to the dev team.

Read here, I just posted this only on the Web of Substack.

https://open.substack.com/pub/viewfromisrael/p/an-open-letter-to-substack-about?r=2zuy9x&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

Please Like and Restack the article for maximum exposure. Maybe something will move.

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I am new to Substack but have become despondent because I can't find a way to offer paid subscriptions from South Africa - Stripe isn't supported here. So I would LOVE a Paypal option!

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Hello Avril. Good to know there are other South African writers here. I'll drop into your waterhole. Lekker bly.

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BTW, would you be able to help me set up a credit card subscription like yours? Or point me somewhere that can help? I had a peep at your site and it looks fabulous!!!

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Hi Candi. Yes, please do! It's good to find a fellow South African - I wonder how many more?

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Hi Candi, I'm also curious about how you've gotten it to work? 🙏

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Fellow Saffa here, and I've got the similar Stripe issues. I'm about to be kicked out of my Stripe account as my "workarounds" aren't working anymore.

The only thing I've seen so far that might be an option is incorporating a company in the UK - but that's about ₤180! I'm also thinking of using Gumroad but that adds a whole other platform just to get things to half work (no paywalls and upselling etc.).

UPDATE: Incorporating a UK company won't help my situation.

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Thanks, Zane. Looks like Substack just doesn't work for us Africans if we want paying subscribers. Are there any similar platforms that are as popular and have a payment system that we can use? It's a pity because they are losing out on our entire continent

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There's beehiiv.com, but I believe their payment partner is also Stripe. Very frustrating indeed. I'm going to look at monetizing through Gumroad and see how it goes.

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I absolutely agree. I don't use Stripe anymore (for good reason) and don't want to use it in the future. It's hugely frustrating that Stripe is the only payment option on here. I have also been requesting an alternative payment method for a long time. Allowing us to use PayPal is the obvious answer. It's the way I receive payments for subscriptions to my website.

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What’s wrong with Stripe? Pls share. Thank you

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I am a digital nomad (journalist) and Stripe isn't set up for someone like me. I live between several different countries in Asia, but I still have my bank accounts in Europe (in two different countries). Stripe can't cope with any of this and last year year they drove me nuts with a deluge of emails. They wouldn't accept any of the documentation I sent them. They wanted me to open a new account linked to another country, but I can't imagine ever being able to provide the documentation they want, in exactly the format they want, relating to the time frame they specify; and their requirements keep changing.

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This seems odd and must be a problem more unique to your citizenship or being EU or something OR maybe a compliance issue for Stripe connected with your citizenship and the EU e.g. a tax issue as in where are you supposed to be paying tax or rather where are they supposed to report your income?

I'm American (as you probably know, we have global taxation...), Stripe pays into one of my US bank account, I use WISE to pay rent in Ringgit straight into the landlord's account (have not tried to use it to pay into my Malaysia bank account) and WISE will ask when transferring the money to select a category to indicate what its for...

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No, it is simply Stripe being a nightmare. Wise is no problem for me and neither is PayPal. Stripe wouldn't accept any of my perfectly valid documentation last year and deluged me with pointless and often contradictory emails. I don't have time for this kind of madness. I am not the only person who cannot stand Stripe.

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I had the same experience with Stripe -- also decided I don't have time for their mad proliferation of stupid requirements.

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The point is that there are big problems with Stripe, not least the fact that it's not available in some countries. Substack needs to get a handle on this as it is unfair that so many of us can't activate paid subscriptions.

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Stripe really did drive me nuts last year. The documents I sent fit the requirements as stated, but then they were unacceptable. Their system simply doesn't work for someone like me. I don't understand why Substack doesn't allow us to use PayPal.

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Thank you for this. This is horrendous… so where did your money end up? In their pockets?

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Oh, I hadn't used Stripe for a long time and only looked back into it because it's the only system Substack uses.

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Really worrying to hear of your experience.

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Thank you. So the gist of it is that only a few countries have access to stripe. But paypal is not ethical as a company or? Not that I can certify stripe is better..

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PayPal is a great company. It is open to a great deal more countries. The gist is simple. Either in Substack's tech stack, or in their contracts with Stripe, or in the percentage they can take - something has prevented them from using PayPal, (just like Medium). this eliminates a massive amount of people who want to open Substack's for money. Simple as all that.

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Got you… so the business side of Substack shows it is is not supportive of the small writer from outside the western world… but even those in the west and beyond should have options. Substack is not for free. We spend hours honing our craft and writing for Substack and stripe to take portions of hard earned money. Service and options must be provided.

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Exactly -- Stripe is unnecessarily difficult to set up and in some situations, like yours and mine, impossible to use. They think they are a bank, and entitled to demand all kinds of unnecessary information and documentation. Wrong! It's totally possible to provide top-level payment security without harassing users.

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Given Paypal's reputation, I would be concerned about them demanding to become everyone's editor and trying to shut pubs down - and not just the finance pubs... There is no shortage of payment processors globally (e.g. I pay rent from a US bank account into a landlord's Ringgit one via Wise which I think covers most countries...) that could be added plus aren't their ways to use Paypal etc indirectly?

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Do you remember Wikileak's downfall? Paypal and Visa shut down their accounts at one point and that was the end of the platform. So please don't give Paypal the power to do so with unconvenient Substacks...

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This is a useful caution to keep in mind. Competition is the solution. Don't give ANYONE a monopoly. Let Substackers choose. Put PayPal on notice that they cannot get away with their gestapo tactics toward content they don't like. Meanwhile use it to provide an alternative to Stripe, which is impossible or unavailable to many.

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Its what they did or were told to do to Parler and GAB - the latter I think ended up having to build their own payment systems... Having a couple of payment options keeps everyone safe and might increase revenue for all - why they don't is a mystery given what happens to "inconvenient" platforms...

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Yes Gab built their own payment system -- still only in the U.S., unfortunately. Substack might be well advised to go that route eventually, as it's the only real protection against censorship. But it's expensive -- takes a lot of geeks to design, test, and implement.

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As I wrote in my post and coming from Tech. Every payment system has its faults. Yet there is no denying that internationally, worldwide, PayPal is the market leader, and has just as good or bad a rep as the others including authorize.net.

There is no lack of payment gateways today. Indeed there are way too many. The "rep" of PayPal is subjective to you and those you know. Others swear by it. I do.

See: https://open.substack.com/pub/viewfromisrael/p/an-open-letter-to-substack-about?r=2zuy9x&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

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I would be more comfortable IF Substack added a few other payment alternatives to avoid being "Parlered" should Stripe come under pressure to drop Substack. Have you looked into how dependent Stripe is on Substack as a customer and what sort of deal the two may have e.g. exclusivity? Could they somehow have Paypal be the payment processor for countries where Stripe is not available?

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This is all part of Substack's internal process. There is no way to know why they have made that decision. Again, Medium operates the same way with payments, and like Substack has never changed.

Opening up payment systems is a difficult call. As I said in the article there is no lack of payment gateways these days. The trick is to get something that is trusted internationally. And that is where Stripe and PayPal come in.

Ask me? There could be a few reasons that I personally in tech have experience with. None of these are impediments. They all have clear workarounds.

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Yea, lots of things they can do... Seeking Alpha, which is run out of the USA and Israel: "We accept all major credit cards and PayPal." The catch with them is that a decade ago when I had done some articles for them, you only got paid if I think you earned $100 (like Adsense which is a scam as most small accounts will never see an Adsense payment) and, like with Adsense, they kept moving the bar away from you and towards them... At least with Stripe, you get the payment within a business day or two...

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Plus 1000 for this. I'm likely going to have make my publication free soon.

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move to Patreon and see if they can meet your needs

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I'm on there for my early access fiction. They're too much of a jack of all trades for creators to be honest. But they are improving at a rapid pace. They're probably feeling the competition. I'm too much of a big fan of Subtack's growth tools to leave. Even if I go free, maybe that's a blessing in disguise.

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A PayPal option would be fantastic! I’m growing my subscribers pretty steadily but it’s hard to keep momentum when I can’t switch on paid. I live in a UK overseas territory, no Stripe for us

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PayPal has not as open as SubStack on the free speech issue, and had at one time suggested fines, as well as expulsion for ‘wrong-think’. I suspect that this is, or will be a problem with all payment processors to some degree. Things change so fast that no-one knows what can become the next “wrong-think”.

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You may or may not be correct. In my article, because of this I wrote, and I quote:

"A company like Substack certainly has clout with PayPal." I honestly do not see the problem. If Stripe accepts payment - in my experience PayPal will as well. PayPal may not accept payments to the outright facist or hate Newsletters, but I doubt it. If Stripe will accept it, PayPal will. Just look at the millions of websites out there. I am doubtful that is the problem, though I will give it a possible and not just nix your suggestion.

And if you are correct, again which I highly doubt, let Substack say so in a Newsletter to the community. Get it out there.

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Apoyo tu idea Ted porque aquí en Argentina no puedo trabajar via Stripe y si con Paypal. Yo también he preguntado y no he tenido respuesta. Quizá no sea fácil pero de este lado del mundo nos ayudaría muchísimo si pudieramos acceder a ello.

Saludos!!!

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very good point Ted

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What poor country lost their Stripe connection?

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I honestly do not remember. It could be Ukraine though, I am not sure. I do remember when I looked it up around a year or so ago for a client in tech, it was 47. I double-checked that by looking at my emails. Maybe I am wrong and was always 46. But 47 was burned in my mind for some reason. I remember crazy things like that, but I have no clue what I ate yesterday!

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Hey if you got that feeling, I bet its correct 😊

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Good piece. Re-stacked.

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ty much appreciated

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Please! There’s no Stripe where I live, even though I have a US bank account

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Shhh! LOL don't say that! they will tell you to use your US account!

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I agree completely. No reason to give Stripe a monopoly, especially when they are so uncooperative about their verification procedures. PayPal is easy to use.

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I agree with you. Stripe doesn’t work in my country and it would be great to use PayPal.

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Great. Is this also a possibility for bilingual articles? To give the subscriber the possibility to switch the languages? In the newsletter, you have to choose one language, but at the bottom of the article, you could add a link" For xxx language, click here." Or is something like this in the planning?

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Thanks for this suggestion—this certainly sounds like a useful tool for bilingual Substacks. I'll be passing on your comment to the wider team.

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Hannah@Substack Please see my comment above. I have an international audience that includes scientists and doctors from around the world. It would be great to have the option of multilingual parallel posting. Spanish and Chinese are high on my wish list.

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Thanks Mardi, this is all heard and your feedback is so valuable.

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Yes, this is an absolute top item on my wishlist. I thought "Sections" could be massaged into acting as a mean of internationalisation, but, it looks like it's not quite the case.

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That would be great! I have a German, English and Spanish community. The bilingual feature would be mind blowing!!

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I'm publishing in English, French and German and would love to have a selection offer for the different publics.

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And for bilingual stacks. To be able to publish in French on Friday, and English on Monday. And to be able to search for articles in French, or Spanish, etc.

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I too would like to publish in several languages with the reader choosing the language. I don't want machine translations.

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1000 percent would love this as well

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I’ve been trying to set up a bilingual blog for years and have never found a user friendly way for me the writer to write the same post in two languages and for the readers to have a seamless interface to that article in whichever of those two languages they choose.

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I am in the same boat and use Wordpress for that for now with a dedicated plugin but having this here would be great

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I would think most people can just use the translating function on their browser as that's usually good enough for non-Asian etc languages... Not sure how the Substack app works since I don't use it...

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What about introducing a 'buy me a coffee' type feature? I can't commit enough time to writing to justify asking people to subscribe, but if they like an article and want to 'buy me a coffee', that would be nice.

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Yes, a one-time payment feature would be useful, especially for those readers whose in-boxes are already filled to overflowing with -- good ! -- content they just do not have time to read. 'Buy me a coffee' is OK, but its fees are very high. There are others. I would prefer to have this feature within Substack, instead of bothering with yet another registration and installation procedure. Substack people would have to consider whether this would be positive or negative for overall revenue -- an important consideration.

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exactly!! i’ve been able to get people randomly support me that way.

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I love this option

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I realised that you can do it yourself by adding a custom button and signing up to www.buymeacoffee.com although the minimum seems to be $5 which is a bit much in my view. Happy for $1

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Too true. With you on this one.

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I checked it out and you can reduce Buy Me a Coffee to $1 so I have done that.

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Exactly. That's what you can do. However, if you're for instance from Germany tipping doesn't make sense tax vise because it's a mess . So many $5 transactions... That's why I'll shut my Kofi account down. My husband his BMAC. Substacks business model is the opposite from tipping. It's earning recurring income. That's healthier, more sustainable and will make you happier on the long term. Hope this helps.

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My problem with the Substack model is that it doesn't allow for occasional posts, which is all I have time for. I won't ask people to pay a recurring fee if I can't commit to write regularly. I don't mind publishing for free but a few donations wouldn't go amiss.

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you can support with $1 on buy me a coffee tho

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I have a 'Buy me a coffee' button on my website. How do I add one to my Substack?

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You go to your substack article and hit 'custom button'. Then add the URL for your Buy Me a Coffee.

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Ah OK; I have to do it on individual articles ?

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Yes I think so. You add the button to each article as far as I can tell.

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That's an excellent idea.

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you can do it on your own, with Kofi for example

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Would love that, too!

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Jan 24·edited Jan 25

About time to have these new tools. Here are some useful tools Substack can consider:

1-option of two languages for local and global readers, with links to a second language post

2-option to set different pricing for different countries. While $5 may be affordable for US/Europe readers may be too high for other countries.

3-alternate payment options than Stripe, as its not widely accepted.

4-allow readers to 'tip' for each article and not be forced to subscribe.

5-Thanks Substack 💪🏻

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option of two languages is a need!!!

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Totally 💯

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awesome.

As a user from Germany, I would also appreciate having no Nazi content on the Substack platform.

Thanks.

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As a user from Israel, I'd appreciate you not trying to police other people's content that you're under no obligation to read, and not trying to exert pressure to centrally control the platform by imposing your own views about what is and isn't acceptable content (just as the Nazis used to do). Thanks.

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Another Israeli Jew here and a grandson to Holocaust survivors.

I am going to be much less diplomatic than Rona:

Substack is not the right platform for you. Please leave!

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I would leave Substack if they do not honour your request. Peace

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It’s been interesting to argue with self proclaimed NAZIs on other platforms, and have them block me as would be expected of them. (It’s sort of stereotypical for NAZIs to censor.) So far I don’t think the SubStack algorithms have shown me any NAZIs. (I’ve been blocked by a climate change guy on SubStack though, but that’s all, so far. )

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Haven't seen any genuinely Nazi content here either, and depending on how you use this platform, it would seem to be pretty hard to spontaneously come across such content unless you're specifically fishing for it.

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My impression is that all of this free exchange of ideas, news and views is seen as a psychological threat to people who don't know why they believe what they believe.

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Yup. Sometimes it's that, sometimes it's having very juvenile/authoritarian views about how speech is going to be regulated in real life and who's going to do the regulation, and how information or speech systems work more generally. Other times it's much more nefarious motivations, but at the end of the day the latter motivations often end up dictating to everyone else what's acceptable. Very dangerous.

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True. The de-banking of dissidents has certainly gotten my attention, as has the recent policy statement of a hospital in Massachusetts USA indicating that patient's who can't regulate their speech 'properly' might not be eligible for care. One must be cognizant of ever changing 'standards' despite illness and delirium.

The wheels are falling off of civilization, even in the places which are not currently being affected by war.

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Yes. It's much worse than what you described IMO. Many strands of academic literature consistently promote what would amount to a full-on authoritarian censorious regime, and as a result, this is being embedded within "scientific"/professional standards across many areas. I post about this regularly on Twitter if you'd like to be updated.

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Replying to the comments from your post: what is great now is that we can report antisemitic content 😊

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I believe that on SubStack you could report all day, but if the content isn’t illegal in U.S., or threatening violence, nothing will happen.

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Good point, in Europe it is illegal.

So how to manage the country-based illegal content?

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I watch some of the new social media refusing to comply, and being walled off from certain countries. I'd expect that once SubStack reaches a certain scale in various countries this has to happen, and access will be by VPN and other circuitous means, as many web surfers have to do.

Maybe they're already looking into a system of tokens and cryptocurrency and Web3. SubStack could become the primary host of uncensored scientific research and publication.

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Just so I understand - your speculation is that I posted the comment because I post anti-Semitic content myself?

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How about a writers hour for international ones too? I always miss the surge due to time differences.

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Thiiiis. I always felt left out cos Substack is so American centric in everything it does.

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Riiight??

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Most of these features have already been available for some time, and I’m getting tired of these international adaptations taking such a long time. My readership constantly gets annoyed and expecting something fishy when everything related to payments is in English on an otherwise all-Swedish platform. This is reducing the amount of people converting to paid. When will Substack be available in Swedish?

And also, this “localised pricing” is very confusing for my readers as the SEK prices fluctuate with the value of the euro. When will I be able to set a fixed price in Swedish kronor?

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Hi Peter, thanks for your feedback. We'd love to expand to more languages, though I'm afraid I can't give you a precise timeline for when we'll expand to Swedish specifically.

The way that alternative-currency prices work now is that we update alternative-currency prices for new subscriptions based on exchange rates once every three months, and we only update prices for new subscriptions, not existing subscriptions. That means that the SEK price that a given subscriber is paying won't change over time, and the SEK price of a new subscription is changing at most once every three months. That said: we really like the idea of letting writers set these prices manually, and it's something that we'd like to get to soon.

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Thanks for the response! As a user of other US based tech companies such as AirBNB I know that integration of translation into the service isn’t impossible, and that it’s within reach to make it work smoothly for the user. And when it comes to my needs it’s even not that complicated - I want Swedish speaking readers to be able to have the subscription and paying experience working in their own language. I know for a fact that would generate more paying subscribers so it would be a win-win.

It’s good to know that subscribers won’t experience a price change under way, but it would still be very good to not have these prices vary but to fix them in the currency that I as well as my subscribers use.

I hope you can speed this development up as this is crucial to work with and expand Substack based platforms in for example the Nordic countries.

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I would think that navigating all the varying laws restrictions in other countries is very difficult, and takes time. I’m not smart enough to know all those laws, and will soon take down my old, personal website because of it. Meanwhile they are invisible outside the U.S. I appreciate all the complication that SubStack people are navigating.

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Neither translation nor fixed prices in the home currency of the writer is related to any laws or restrictions, so I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about. I think it’s a question of regarding all your customers as relevant and interesting in generating future revenue, and not being stuck in the US pond. I guess it’s a question of if you want to be relevant internationally or just nationally.

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Translation will make "disinformation" "forbidden speech" and "wrong think" easier for regulators to read. Very simply, U.S. citizens are accustomed to being able to say lots of things that are forbidden to say in various other countries. Adapting to the restrictions takes time.

I think it takes awhile to grow a business, and longer if someone doesn't hand you the start up capital.

Perhaps in some countries, customers are free to choose other ponds when one doesn't provide satisfaction. In other countries there is drought and famine and no other ponds.

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I don’t think anyone is particularly interested in translating the very texts we produce, and that can be done much easier in the receiving end through for example Google Translate. What I’m talking about is the generic texts on the site related to subscriptions and payments. Whatever I try to do, I can’t take away the English-language text on the subscription site that just seem awkward on an otherwise all-Swedish site. It’s a bug in the system, to take away to make it work in a reasonable way for sites that are not written in English. If the base text on the site that Substack provide is possible to have in your own language, many problems would be solved and fewer people would find it fishy to suddenly find English text when wanting to pay for the subscription.

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I've been navigating the internet for a long time. So I have traded with businesses in other countries when needing something specific, and I expected the need to get everything translated and converted. Probably because of living in a rural environment, I'm used to either producing, or waiting for whatever is needed.

I expected Substack to adapt to whatever growth it has, whenever it has the money and manpower to get it done, and have never expected my personal priorities to be theirs.

I'm here for the initially offered freedom feature, and so far that's working out much better than elsewhere.

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I'm quite certain my "personal priorities" in this aspect are quite common with lots of non-US Substack users. And as Substack seem to want to be present in non-US markets, I think its good to make these needs heard. I've been an active Substack user for more than two years and I'm used to doing my own translations on whats needed to translate, but I can't do anything to the generic subscription stuff such as buttons and the paying interface that constantly irritate my readers by being in a foreign language. Good evening.

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Valid points! Tried it. Customer experience could be better when creating an account

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Excellent work. Can I expect support for Japanese and other 2-byte character languages?

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Thanks for the feedback Kuni! Hoping to get an answer for you on this soon.

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Hi there! Can you say a little bit more about this? Are you looking for Japanese product translations, or is there something about the other parts of our product that aren't working for Japanese-language content?

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Some languages, such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, have a writing scheme that uses many different characters that cannot be represented with single-byte codes. To create coded character sets for such languages, the system uses 2 bytes to represent each character. Characters that are encoded in 2-byte code are called double-byte characters.

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Hello, what if you are bilingual?

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I asked exactly that

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This a terrific boost for readers and writers. Thank you.

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Hey, hello from Malaysia. I have been whinging about this for ages, so I am curious how this would shake things up but it is disappointing that Asia is left out and only Western countries are considered. Why? 😅

Oh well I guess nothing will change for me and other Asian folks then 😆

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Only large Western countries, I would say. For being such an international platform as it is, Substack is very US-centric and slow at doing adaptions for its users outside the US. Even this post is pretty much focusing on US writers with a readership outside the country’s borders. If this attitude doesn’t change, other platforms will benefit.

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Yes, totally agree. And when it comes to language, I hope Asian languages are in the pipeline, to reflect the actual diversity of the world population ;-)

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Love the Brazilian Portuguese option! Hoping we get Brazilian payment methods soon :)

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Eu também!

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Thanks team Substack!!

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This is great news. Thanks, Team!

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Now the big question is: will Stripe charge for conversion from say Euro to US Dollar, and then I still have to convert it to my local currency - thus causing unnecessary FX conversion costs 2x steps along the way rather than 1x?

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It depends on the situation. If the reader is paying in Euros for a default-USD plan, and you take payouts from Stripe in Euros, then this actually saves you the interchange fee that you would have had to pay if the reader had paid in USD. But if you take payouts from Stripe in some other currency (say, CAD), then you would still need to pay the interchange fee from Euros to CAD, but you would not need to pay a second interchange fee. We also saw in testing that showing readers prices in their local currencies generated additional revenue that more than made up for any additional interchange fee that writers would need to pay.

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I would prefer the additional revenue from local-currency payment options without having to pay exorbitant currency-exchange fees. Also the additional bookkeeping and accounting time makes this not worthwhile. Much better to avoid currency-exchange fees and paperwork by having payments made to accounts in each country where there is significant revenue. Also, in general, one should be skeptical about paying up-front costs for projected future revenue : )

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Hey James, would you mind sharing more insights from your testings?

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Interesting - thanks

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