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How the Substack app helps writers grow
More than 25% of subscriptions originate from the Substack app
We launched the Substack app last year as a beautiful place for readers and a growth channel for writers. On top of giving readers a better place to read their favorite writers than in their email inboxes, we sought to give writers more ways to reach readers they don’t already have, convert those readers into paying subscribers, and deepen writer-reader relationships through conversations and social sharing.
Eighteen months since its launch, the Substack app has surpassed our expectations and continues to grow strongly. To date, the app has been downloaded 3 million times and boasts an App Store rating of 4.9 stars from more than 50,000 reviews. As we look ahead to further development of the app and initiatives to bring more of the world’s most valuable readers into the Substack ecosystem, we wanted to take a moment to help writers understand how the app helps them.
So let’s delve into the specifics of how the Substack app supercharges growth.
Growing your audience
For writers to grow, readers need to be able to find their work. That’s why discovery is so important in an app like Substack. The app facilitates discovery with features such as onboarding recommendations, search, reader profiles, discovery tabs, leaderboards, and, most recently, Notes, which is built for social exchange. Here’s the impact:
83% higher chance of a subscription if a publication is discovered in the app
25%+ of recent subscriptions come directly from the app
App users have 50% more paid subscriptions than non-app users
Increasing engagement and conversion
The app provides readers with a clean reading experience—no ads, super-fast navigation, and a slick interface. Readers can see who else likes certain posts, participate in discussions, and easily share their favorite reads. They can also listen to posts, save them for later, and seamlessly access all of their subscriptions from in one place. Because of this, app users are:
15x more likely to comment
44x more likely to share a post
25% more likely to become a paid subscriber
Deepening writer-to-reader connection
Our Chat feature helps writers deepen connections with their subscribers while holding the decision-making power. Writers can determine which of their Chats are only for paid subscribers and which ones are open to all their subscribers, and they can manage reader participation and notifications. The results speak for themselves:
We’ve seen a 19% higher free-to-paid conversion rate for active Chat publications
More than 24,000 writers have started a Chat thread
1 million+ messages have been sent through Chat since launch
If you love diving into the data, you can see how many subscriptions the app has driven for your publication by going to your Dashboard > Stats tab > Network tab.
To see how many sign-ups and subscriptions were brought to you by the app for any one post, go to the Post tab in your dashboard. Click on any post to pull up your post stats. Here you can see traffic sources, including traffic from the Substack app.
The Substack app isn’t just a tool for reading; it’s your discovery, growth, and community-building engine. Even though the app is in its early days, we’re learning fast, and there’s much more to come. Please leave any feedback in the comments section below!
Today Substack’s App Team is here to answer writers’ questions.
How to participate
We posted a note from the Substack Writers account to start the conversation.