Product news for writers: new podcast player, leaderboard categories, moderation tools, and more

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At Substack, we’re focused on building for and with writers. Read on for a rundown of what we’ve released in the past few weeks—from an upgraded podcast player to launching new leaderboard categories. Please chime in, in the comments section, with your feedback.

New leaderboard categories: Writer favorites, Featured Recommenders & International

Today, we’re introducing new leaderboards that will help writers get discovered by new readers.

Two of our new leaderboards are informed by writer recommendations data, and will be updated on a daily rotation:

  • The Writer favorites leaderboard surfaces writers who receive an outsized number of recommendations from other Substack writers. This category spotlights emerging publications that have yet to be discovered by a mass readership.

  • The Featured recommenders leaderboard celebrates writers who, by turning on recommendations, are sending lots of new subscribers to fellow writers on Substack.

In addition, we’ve introduced an International category for writers covering global affairs. If that’s you, submit your writing to the category by adding “international” as one of the tags labeling your publication.

Learn more: What are Substack leaderboards?

To turn on recommendations, read: How can I recommend other publications on Substack?

Homepage recommendations

When we rolled out recommendations, writers requested the option to include their recommendations in more places.

Writers can now include recommended pubs on their homepage.

A writer can now choose to include recommendations on their publication homepage as a “blogroll” (above right). This setting defaults “on” for any publications that have enabled recommendations, but can be turned off without removing recommendations from showing up elsewhere.

Readers will also be able to discover the writers you have recommended from the footer of the publication homepage, and as a standalone webpage at yourpublication.substack.com/recommendations.

Thank you to the writers who have shared feedback on this feature in recent Office Hours.

Read more: Introducing recommendations: simple cross-promotion for writers

Upgraded podcast player

We shipped an updated podcast player in the Substack iOS app that makes it seamless to listen to your favorite podcasts on Substack. 

Our designer Alex walks through the new designs here.

Read more: Podcasting questions answered

Improved moderation tools

We made some improvements to comment reporting tools, making it easier for writers and readers to moderate their own communities.

Readers can report offensive comments to publication admins, and admins will be able to view, approve, or remove reported comments. This queue will also display spam comments removed by Substack.

Read more: A guide to Substack’s moderation tools

We hope you give these new tools and features a try. As always, please feel free to leave feedback and ideas in the comments.